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I have to do this not just for me .. but for Scotland; Pole star: Sue's going where no Scotswoman has gone before.

Super Scot climber Sue Stockdale is on her way to being the first female Brit at the Magnetic North Pole.

And yesterday, as she prepared to set off on her epic trek, she said: "I have to do this, not just for myself, but for Scotland."

Only a handful of women have ever conquered the 30-day trek across 350 miles of frozen seas.

Sue, 29, will face temperatures dropping to -50C and hungry polar bears.

The Record was at Resolute Bay, in the North West Territories of Canada, to be with the Edinburgh woman as she packed the 80lb sled she will drag across the snow.

Management consultant Sue said: "The scariest part is the polar bears. They've just come out of hibernation and we'll have to walk through one of their breeding grounds.

"The trek will be frightening but I'm sure we'll make it."

The expedition, The Ultimate Challenge, is the first time 10 novice explorers have been taken this far.

Sue was chosen from 500 hopefuls to join the team, led by veteran venturer, David Hempleman- Adams, 39, the first man to reach the Pole solo and unsupported in 1984.

Another Scot, Jock Wishart, who walked to the North Pole two years ago, is also a team leader.

There are other Scots influences on the 16-strong team.

Michael Hughes, a company director, has a mum from Edinburgh, and Metropolitan Police detective Mike Kearton's mum lives in Dumfriesshire.

Jock Wishart, who helped pick the team, said: "It's going to be tough.

"Nobody has taken a party of novices this size on a trek of this magnitude before."

But he is confident Sue has what it takes.

He said: "She's a talented individual with an incredible determination to live life to the full."
COPYRIGHT 1996 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Smith, Anna
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 15, 1996
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