When I was 16, my greatest accomplishment was learning to drive and fix an askew ponytail at the same time. When 16-year-old Jade Hameister reached the South Pole after lugging around a 220-pound sled on skis for 37 days, she became not only the youngest person to ski from the Antarctic coast to the Pole without support, but the youngest person to complete a challenge called the "polar hat trick." While there, she trolled her own Internet trolls with a simple ham and cheese sandwich. I'll let you decide which teenage accomplishment is cooler.
Hameister, a second-generation Australian polar explorer, has set a number of records from an early age. At 14 years old, according to ABC News Australia, she became the youngest person to ski to the North Pole from outside the last degree — the first leg of the aforementioned "polar hat trick," which involves completing the biggest three polar expeditions. One year later, in 2017, she skied without assistance across Greenland's largest ice sheet. Finally, with her trip to the South Pole, she finished the challenge on Jan. 11. Like someone who had broken more records by age 16 than most people do in their lifetime, she shrugged off the accomplishment, saying she was "not really fussed" about breaking records. "For me it's just the experience and the environment that no-one else really gets to see," she told ABC News.
While she was down south, she made two trips to the South Pole. First, her team visited both the Ceremonial South Pole and the actual geographic location, which moves around each year. That night, she returned to the South Pole for a special task: trolling the haters.
Yes, a 16-year-old adventurer with adorable freckles has haters. In 2016, she gave a TEDx Talk encouraging young women to expand their horizons.
The Internet being what it is (a bubbling cauldron of misogyny and fail videos), it didn't take long for a bunch of trolls to enter the scene. On YouTube, several users instructed her to "make me a sandwich," a common catchphrase implying that a woman's place is in the kitchen. Barf.
Instead of ignoring the haters, Hameister took them on. On Jan. 13, she posted a Facebook photo of herself holding a ham and cheese sandwich at the Ceremonial South Pole. I'll let her explain this one.
"Tonight (it never gets dark this time of year) I skied back to the Pole again... to take this photo for all those men who commented 'Make me a sandwich' on my TEDX Talk. I made you a sandwich (ham & cheese), now ski 37 days and 600km to the South Pole and you can eat it xx."
On her Facebook page, dozens of users commented to congratulate her on her journey and stellar wit. "What an inspiration your achievements will be to young women everywhere. Outstanding. Onwards and upwards," wrote one man.
In conclusion, haters can see themselves all the way to the left.
But wait! There's more. Hameister's journey was record-breaking even outside of her age. According to National Geographic, she is the first woman to set a new route from the Antarctic coast across the unexplored Kansas Glacier, so she wasn't even following a known route. Along the way, her all-Australian team named several landmarks after icons of the Land Down Under, like the Opera House Ridge and Blue Tongue Crevasse Field. (They plan to apply to make the names official.) According to Vogue Australia, she was accompanied by two National Geographic cameramen, along with her father and a guide, and a documentary of her journey will be released this year. Meanwhile, something tells me the men who trolled a 16-year-old girl online won't ever get their hands on that sandwich.