JADE Hameister has always been an exceptional achiever.
Aged six she walked to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko.
At 12 she convinced her parents to take her on a family hike through the Himalayas to Everest Base Camp.
The following year, at 13 Hameister set her sights on reaching the South Pole.
Only one obstacle stood in her way: the Hameisters’ chosen guide insisted she be at least 16 years old before attempting such a gruelling expedition.
Undaunted, she decided to kill time with a couple of relatively straightforward warm-up treks: to the North Pole and across the Greenland icecap.
Never having skied, she prepared with a few days’ training in New Zealand’s South Island, then set out from the Svalbard Archipelago in Norway determined to become the youngest person ever to ski entirely unsupported and unassisted from outside the final degree of latitude to the most northerly point in the world.
Along the way her youthful ambition, inspiring teenage message and passionate environmental focus caught the attention of both the National Geographic Society (which engaged a videographer to accompany Hameister and her father on each of their three increasingly taxing challenges) and the team behind the global phenomenon of TEDx talks.
Those same characteristics quickly drew the ire of a cohort of anonymous online trolls, however, who used the phrase “Make me a sandwich” to suggest Hameister’s true purpose as a woman should be to wait on men.
Her reply – along with the nearly three years’ worth of agony, frustration, ecstasy and relief that preceded it as she completed her sub-zero hat-trick – is recounted in Hameister’s own voice, from the joy of opening special letters written by her closest school friends to the physical torture of hauling twice her own bodyweight in a sled over jagged ridges of ice.