"This is my first solo expedition, the first time I will have spent this length of time without company. It's part of the challenge of the expedition, to see how I'll cope with it," she said.
"I've been preparing for 10 years, and only now do I feel capable of this. Every trip teaches you something: how tough you are, what your personal limits are, how to wrap up a blister better, how not to get sick," she said. "Particularly on the psychological side, each journey I've had has taught me something about how to feel better about a situation, how to react, how to behave."