Isabelle Autissier is returning from a season's high adventure in the Antarctic

When solo sailors retire from racing they don’t usually give up voyaging under sail, they change tack and go off with other people to enjoy the company.

The latest adventurous retiree is the famous French sailor Isabelle Autissier, 53, who left Ushuaia in January with a crew of five friends who are sailors and mountaineers to explore the Antarctic.

In her 15m aluminium sloop Ada 2 the crew has sailed all the way down the Antarctic Peninsula. They have scaled Mount Foster, the highest peak on Deception Island, Mount Parry on Braband Island and Weincke Island at Port Lockroy. Some of these were very difficult ice routes, and the 2,100m climb of Mount Foster’s north-west face was the first ever attempted.

Autissier and her crew are coming to the end of the austral season and are due to arrive back in Ushuaia on Thursday.

This is Autissier’s fourth expedition in Ada 2.