Summary and book reviews of No Horizon Is So Far by Ann Bancroft

No Horizon Is So Far

An Extraordinary Journey Across Antarctica

by Ann Bancroft, Liv Arnesen

No Horizon Is So Far
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2003, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2004, 253 pages

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Book Summary

Chronicles and celebrates the journey of two modern-day heroines who crossed Antarctic on foot. Though modern technology could not ensure rescue, website transmissions and satellite phone calls enabled more than 3 million school children from 65 countries to bear witness to Ann and Liv's journey.

In February 2001, former schoolteachers Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen became the first women to cross the Antarctic continent on foot.

Against all odds, they walked, skied, or ice-sailed for nearly three months in temperatures as cold as -35°F, towing their 250-pound supply sledges across 1700 miles of terrain riddled with rotten ice and deadly, hidden crevasses.

Haunted by the failures of those who had attempted the crossing before them, they raced to complete the journey before the harsh Antarctic winter set in and 24 hours of daylight became 24 hours of impenetrable darkness.

Though modern technology could not ensure rescue should they need it, website transmissions and satellite phone calls enabled more than 3 million children from 65 countries to bear witness to the journey.

In accomplishing the seemingly impossible, Ann and Liv inspired classrooms and re-ignited the aspirations of more than twenty-thousand adults who wrote to thank and encourage them. Chronicling the dramatic details of this historic expedition, No Horizon Is So Far explores what drove Ann and Liv across the ice and ultimately into hearts and history books around the world. It traces the birth of their dream, its re-emergence when they were adults, their tenacious work to assemble the necessary money and gear, and their brutally taxing trek from the Norwegian sector to the American base at McMurdo Bay. About journeys both literal and figurative, each marked with suspense, danger, and incredible endurance No Horizon Is So Far celebrates two modern-day heroines and that which is heroic in all of us.

Chapter One

Hell

Every expedition has a reckoning point, the moment when an adventurer must navigate her own inner tumult and find strength to continue. Sometimes, discovering the will to go on is not a single event, but an equation that must be calculated with each footfall on a given trek. The true journey of any expedition is the journey of the mind. Navigating that terrain depends not on physical skill or muscle, but on character. Where one finds that hidden reserve of motivation is a litmus test of human nature. Does it come from the thirst for fame? Love of family or competition? Or from the beauty of the very terrain that might prove deadly? Because the will to continue isn't about choosing reasons to take the next one hundred steps; it's about connecting with the forces that give one's life meaning, that which one values above all else. Success on an expedition (as in life) isn't about brute strength, or even endurance, but resilience: the ability to ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
For Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft, Antarctica was the ultimate destination, a savagely beautiful landscape and a unique test of character and skill - the defining moment in their adventure careers. No Horizon Is So Far is the true story of Arnesen and Bancroft's inspiration, organization, and hard work to become the first women to cross Antarctica by foot. As former schoolteachers, they considered the expedition to be not only a personal goal but an educational tool, reaching more than three million children through the course of their journey. As women, they made history, challenging gender stereotypes and breaking barriers for future generations. As teammates, they proved to the world, themselves, and each other that ...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The writing style of this book would appeal to older children (grades 4 and above) and teens – but don’t write it off as a teen book per se – it should be of interest to people of any age who are interested in reading about people who challenge themselves to the limit – both in body and spirit.  

Media Reviews

Curledup.com

Both women swear they don't like the cold - they've just learned to dress for it. Through their eyes we see that ice can be beautiful, remote places have a bounty of spiritual gifts, and every day a new experience and a new challenge to courage. It is to be hoped that young women will read this book, which offers a fresh look at what two rather ordinary (and truly extraordinary) middle-aged women can do when they set their minds to it.

Publishers Weekly

Although the triple-track format of three different writers interrupting one another is sometimes jarring, the authors' descriptive details and vivid writing bring the adventure alive.

Reader Reviews

annon.

This is an excellent read, very inspiring and educational about the conditions on the Antarctic continent, an incredible friendship that stood the tests of extreme stress and the story of a dream come true-- I'll be giving this book to many friends ...   Read More

Charlie - age 40


This book is about not the triumph of Antarctica, but the triumph of the human spirit. Not about cold weather, but warming peoples hearts. It's about what each of us can accomplish in our own lives if we set our mind to overcome the challenges ...   Read More

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