IT was a chilly start to 2019 for two Peebles women who packed their winter woollies and left Peebles last Friday on an artic adventure.

What makes this trip both brave and bizarre, is that friends Doris Robertson and Carole Henderson both detest winter weather.

But their passion for helping vulnerable children made facing temperatures as low as -30°C worth it, as they jumped at the chance to do the Barnardo’s Artic Challenge in Finland.

The pair will have to grit their chattering teeth, as they face many challenges such as digging their own snow holes to sleep in.

They have been training hard in the run up to their trip by hillwalking and working out in the gym.

And anyone out for a peaceful walk on New Year’s Day who heard screams from Haylodge Park or witnessed two panicked women thrashing about in the river, fear not, there is no mythical beast in the Tweed, it was merely looney dookers Doris and Carole taking a refreshing dip!

Doris told us: “I don’t know which one of us talked the other into that one. Suffice to say it was cold. It was a chance to test out the camera equipment. The film footage sounds like we are being attacked by sharks, it was so funny.”

During the year, the dynamic duo worked hard with the support of local businesses to raise funds and reach their £4,500 target.

Doris added: “We’ve had a year of ups and downs when it came to fundraising and we are short of £600 which we still hope to raise. All of the money will support projects in Scotland.”

The ladies contacted the Peeblesshire News on Monday with an update – saying they enjoyed a “tiring but exhilarating” weekend and were looking forward to dog sledding on Tuesday.

And in between digging a snow hole to sleep in, they even found time to sit down with a cuppa and catch up on all the latest news back home with a copy of the Peeblesshire News!

You can follow the ladies adventures in Finland on their Facebook page: Artic Challenge – Sister Sledge, which also has a link to their JustGiving page.