Bancroft polar trek will focus on water

  • Updated: October 21, 2011 - 2:02 AM

Adventurer says 2012 South Pole expedition will teach youth about the global need for fresh water.

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Explorer Ann Bancroft

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

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Minnesota polar adventurer Ann Bancroft has assembled a team of eight women for an expedition to the South Pole next year as part of a campaign highlighting concerns about global access to fresh water.

Participants in the expedition, led by Bancroft and Liv Arnesen of Norway, intend to cover 800 miles in 80 days, starting in November 2012.

The other "Access Water 2012" team members are from India, Russia, South Africa, New Zealand, Chile and China. Together, they represent six continents.

As in previous Bancroft-Arnesen expeditions, this campaign is designed to use the latest in "real-time" communications technology "to raise awareness, understanding and reflection amongst young people on the key issues of access to water and to help them formulate an agenda for action," Bancroft said in announcing the expedition Tuesday.

Bancroft's announcement noted that "one in eight people lack access to clean water and more than 3 million die each year from water-related health problems."

Bancroft, of Scandia, led the first all-female expedition to Antarctica, becoming the first woman to reach both poles across the ice. In 2001, she and Arnesen became the first women to cross Antarctica's landmass.

PAUL WALSH

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