Despite struggling with a learning disability in her early years, Ann Bancroft never let it hold her back. Instead of becoming frustrated with her studies, she turned her attention to the natural world, where she felt comfortable and safe. As an adult, she has made the connection with nature her life’s calling. In 1986, she became the first woman to cross the ice to the North Pole, traveling 1,000 miles from Canada by dogsled. In 1992-93, she led an all-woman team to the South Pole, becoming the first woman to cross the ice on both poles. In 2001, she teamed up with Norwegian explorer Liv Arnesen to become the first women to ski across Antarctica.