American explorer Colin O’ Brady has become the first person to cross Antarctica on his own for the first time in history.
At only 33 years old, O’Brady finished the dangerous travesty in 54 days’ time without the assistance of any kind. Under extreme weather conditions, the explorer and sports enthusiast covered approximately 1,5500 kilometres (930 miles) while carrying a 170 kg (375 pounds) sledge.
O’Brady finished several days ahead of British Army Captain, Louis Rudd. The two men met at a hotel bar in Chile and started a competition, setting out on the 3rd of November to begin the bone-chilling trek.
Recalling the difficult travesty on social media, O’Brady opened up about the extreme conditions and obstacles that almost jeopardized his goal. “As expected, it was brutal.
Blowing snow, sub-zero temps, sub-zero visibility” he commented on Instagram, “Pretty much the worst place to find yourself not being able to see where you are going.”
The first person to cross Antarctica alone
Towards the end, the difficulties were many and the exhaustion was almost unbearable. On the 47th day of the journey, O’Brady fell at least five times, making him question whether he ought to stop and call it a day.
However, his determination proved to be stronger, and O’Brady kept himself motivated by repeating his favourite mantra “this too shall pass”.
O’Brady’s milestone can’t be underestimated; Antarctica is known as the coldest continent on Earth. It is also the highest and driest, where the sun shines 24 hours a day.
What’s more, the unbearable cold freezes all moisture, making the arctic landscape just like a desert. Under such conditions, explorers must carry all the calories they consume while keeping their energy levels up.
Many have attempted this high-risk journey before. However, such expeditions had assistance and were reinforced with plenty of supplies or kites to help them endure the harsh conditions.
In 2016, British explorer Henry Worsley lost his life attempting an unassisted trek across Antarctica, ultimately collapsing from exhaustion towards the end.
Today, O’Brady celebrates his sports milestone, while looking forward to his upcoming challenge.