Antarctic crossing: adventurer Geoff Wilson’s ‘Boob Sled’ raising money for McGrath Foundation

Geoff Wilson's Antarctic expedition took 53 days.
Geoff Wilson's Antarctic expedition took 53 days.

WHEN you hear Dr Geoff Wilson crossed Antarctica, facing blizzards and wind chill of minus 47 degrees Celsius, in a ‘boob sled’ modelled on his wife’s breasts, you know he’s a bit unhinged.

But when you hear he wants to do it again, only this time entering into a section of Antarctica so dangerous it is referred to as the ‘forbidden zone’, you fear he might just be stark raving mad.

Dr Wilson’s mind, however, is sound – it’s his adventurous spirit and desire to improve the lives of those battling breast cancer that has led to these feats of daring.

After covering 3500km on his first Antarctic voyage, now Dr Wilson wants to make things even tougher and is keen to embark on a 5000km trek across the entire continent.

But he needs to convince the Australian Antarctic Division he has an escape plan should things go bad, and needs corporate sponsors to help fund his mission.

“It’s just too vast an area to get anyone in and out of easily,” Dr Wilson said.

“I’d be starting on the South African side coming all the way through the Pole, then exiting on the Australia/New Zealand side.

“The big block is search and rescue.

“We’ve got search and rescue for the first half of the journey but not for the second half.

“No one will let you go in there unless you’ve got a genuine way to get you home if something goes horribly wrong.”

Inspired by the plight of his friend Katie Carlyle’s battle with breast cancer, Dr Wilson was moved to try and raise money for the McGrath Foundation.

He did so in the most extreme of ways – by trekking across some of the most inhospitable terrain imaginable on his bright pink ‘boob sled’.

Dr Wilson’s first Antarctic expedition, in late 2013, raised $250,000 for the Foundation, which places breast care nurses in communities across Australia.

“Katie said the McGrath nurses changed her life,” Dr Wilson said.

“They held her hand the whole way through.

“The biggest thing for me was understanding the relationship between a McGrath nurse and a woman going through breast cancer. The more remote you are, the more important that bond is.

“For me in Antarctica, I was as isolated as any human being on the planet.”

But Dr Wilson was able to chat to his wife Sarah daily by satellite phone.

“It was during that time I realised that having someone who understands the ins and outs of what you’re going through is of vital importance,” he said.

“That’s what a McGrath nurse does for someone who’s in the life storm of cancer.”

The gruelling, 53-day experience was chronicled in the documentary 47 Below.

The film is screening on Thursday July 7 at the Heath Ledger Theatre, and Dr Wilson will be conducting a question-and-answer session prior to the show.

Proceeds from the night will go to the McGrath Foundation.

Tickets are available from Ticketek.