From Heels to Mukluks: the First American Woman in Antarctica

In this week’s edition of the Anarchic Archivist, we’re uploading a personal essay by Edith “Jackie” Ronne, a writer and Antarctica explorer who visited the frozen continent 15 times. Her notes during her first expedition, in 1946, significantly influenced the book now credited solely to her husband, Antarctic Conquest: the Story of the Ronne Expedition 1946-1948.

Sometime in the mid 1990s, Ronne jotted down some of her memories, perhaps at the prompting of Washington Post writer Judith Weinraub, who profiled Ronne in 1995 (and topped the story with one of the most sexist and off-putting leads of all time).

Ronne’s jottings appeared online as an essay titled “From Heels to Mukluks.” From what I can find, the essay is only hosted on one site, For the sake of preservation, I’ve copied the essay in its entirety here. I’ve also copied the Washington Post profile below it; despite its horrible, no-good lead, the piece offers some useful and little-reported tidbits about Ronne’s later years.

And BTW, the Ronne family maintains a great archive on Edith, along with her many Antarctica-loving relatives.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s Ronne in her own words: Read More »