The BBC ran a story yesterday about 16-year-old Amelia Hempleman-Adams, who aims to be the youngest person to ski to the South Pole. Amelia’s father, explorer David Hempleman-Adams, will also be a member of the expedition party, which sets off from the UK on 18 November. Meanwhile, Amelia is training for the cold temperatures by camping in a supermarket freezer.
So, what’s this got to do with chocolate? Well, chocolate is a high-energy food source, rich in carbohydrates and fat, that’s readily portable and easy to eat in low temperatures. As a result it’s long been favoured by climbers and explorers, including on Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole and Amundsen’s successful one.
(Kendal mint cake has a similar tradition – it was even used on the first successful ascent of Everest in 1953. Apparently it was a favourite high-altitude foodstuff and the only complaint about it was that there wasn’t enough of it.)
The expedition is undertaking a serious venture, but if you watch the BBC video (linked to above) it looks like a puff piece for various Cadbury and Nestlé chocolate bars. I wonder what kinds of chocolate bars they really will be taking with them.