Nearly 1,600 kilometres in 54 days, alone and without assistance. A first accomplishment by an American adventurer, Colin O’Brady, who trekked solo across the icy Antarctica under extreme conditions.
The 33-year-old former professional triathlete, covered the last 125 kilometres in a row. After thirty-two hours, without sleep, O’Brady arrived at his destination on Wednesday.
He left Union Glacier camp on November 3 with Louis Rudd, a 49-year-old British soldier. The two men, who were each trying to be the first to complete this journey alone and without assistance, then proceeded separately.
“It’s time to leave home and head for the cold Antarctic. This is my last night in the Sleep Number. It felt so good to sleep in this bed while I was getting ready for Antarctica. And I will miss him very much when I sleep on the floor in the frozen desert, but sleep has been so important for my healing and preparation, and I look forward to getting back to that bed on the other side of Antarctica”, O’Brady said.
Throughout his adventure, which took him across Antarctica, he was tracked by GPS and details of his adventure were published daily on his website, colinobrady.com.
Passing through the South Pole on December 12, O’Brady finished his journey on Wednesday on the Ross Barrier, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Louis Rudd being a day or two behind him.
His accomplishment was described as “one of the most remarkable in polar history” by the New York Times, in comparison to the “race for the South Pole” between Norway’s Roald Amundsen and Britain’s Robert Falcon in 1911.
Before him, the Norwegian explorer Borge Ousland had been the first to cross the white continent solo, but he had been helped by a “parafoil” in 1996-1997.
Colin O’Brady is not at his first record. By 2016, he had climbed the highest peaks of the seven continents, including Everest, in 132 days, making him the fastest “climber of the seven peaks”.