PW: How did you write No Horizon Is So Far: A Historic Journey Across Antarctica ? Did you keep journals during your expedition?
Ann Bancroft: We kept journals as we went along; usually every night, we'd write down stuff. And then we worked with Cheryl [Dahle], who pulled other things from us and blended our voices together. [When we were on the expedition], Liv and I were able to communicate with people every evening, via phone calls and the Internet. Those people started to really understand our personalities through our little reports. Liv and I are very similar in a lot of ways, but we're also very different. We didn't want to lose that in the book. One narrative isn't the right narrative.
Liv Arnesen: And books that are set up in a "Day 1, Day 2, Day 3" format can get quite boring.
PW: How did you remain optimistic in the face of such hardship during your journey?
AB: This is something we love to do and that we choose to do. There are hard days, but following your passion doesn't make it an easy endeavor. There are a lot of other harder things I could choose to do in life.
LA: I think even though we had some hard days, we both felt privileged to be there, even through injuries and the time pressure.
PW: Were you able to bring any books with you on the journey?
LA: We both brought poetry, because you can go back to poetry and read it again. I brought Norwegian poetry.
AB: I had a dilemma of which poet to bring. My friends and family put together a book for me of all of their favorite poems. [Since we couldn't carry a lot, poetry was good because] you can come back to it again and again, and it has different meanings at different times.
PW: In the book, you write of being tied to all the explorers who came before you and becoming part of the landscape's history. How do you feel about your book joining the canon of adventure literature?
AB: You do carry all those stories and all those people with you, particularly the ones you read again and again. But I have a hard time fitting ourselves into those categories. It makes me a little wiggly.
LA: As women, we are more honest about our injuries and our hard times, rather than boasting about them. We're not macho.
PW: What are some of your favorite adventure travel books?
AB: I think that the stories of the Arctic and the Antarctic are so rich. Mawson's Will: The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever Written and The Worst Journey in the World are fun books to come back to about those particular regions.
LA: I'm really fascinated by the old travel books. Everything was so new for [those explorers]. When I visited Ann for the first time, I found the same books on her bookshelf that I had on mine. We have a very similar taste in books.
PW: How did you arrive at the book's title?
AB: The book's title comes from a line in Beryl Markham's memoir, West with the Night. The Antarctic is a place that has a horizon in all directions—it's a vast space.
PW: You write that your journey was inspired by Alfred Lansing's book Endurance [a recounting of Shackleton's legendary attempt to cross Antarctica]. When did you read that book?
AB: I was 12.
LA: I think I was 12, too. I started reading these kinds of books when I was eight. I started with Norwegian explorers, and that brought me to English and more international explorers.
PW: How do you think your 10-city book tour will compare to your Antarctic trek?
AB: I think it'll be grueling.
LA: Yes, we've started to mentally prepare for this book expedition.
AB: A hotel every night, a new city every night—we're psyching up for this one.
PW: Can you give any clues as to where your next expedition might take you?
AB: I think we'll still have sleds.