Catherine Hartley, the first woman to cross Antarctica to the South Pole, achieved her goal without having to make a claim on her insurance policy.

Hartley battled temperatures of minus 24 degrees and gale force winds overcoming frostbite and terrible weather conditions, to cross 700 miles of inhospitable terrain.

Club Direct, which arranged the insurance and sponsored Hartley, said: "At one point we thought she was going to need rescuing. She's a tough girl though and we are incredibly proud of her."