Chaska Rotary is proud to welcome Ann Bancroft to its Nov. 30 meeting. The meeting starts at 7:30 a.m. at Hazeltine National Golf Club.
Bancroft is an author, teacher, adventurer, and the first woman to cross both polar ice caps and reach the North and South poles. She has traveled east to west across Greenland on skis, leading the first American woman’s team in 1992. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1995.
Bancroft grew up in rural Minnesota and graduated from St. Paul Academy and Summit School and became a physical education teacher. When an opportunity arose to participate in the 1986 Steger International Polar Expedition, she resigned her teaching position and departed for the North Pole. After 56 days, she and the team arrived at the North Pole by dogsled without the benefit of resupply. Thus, Bancroft became the first woman to sled and walk to the North Pole. Her next adventure was the 67-day, 660-mile journey to the South Pole on skis. She returned to the Arctic, teaming with Norwegian polar explorer Liv Arensen and they become the first women to complete a transcontinental crossing, covering 1,700 miles skiing and sailing over 94 days.