Washington, United States:
An American adventurer has become the first person to complete a solo trek across Antarctica without assistance of any kind.
Colin O’Brady, 33, took 54 days to complete the nearly 1,000 mile (1,600-kilometer) crossing of the frozen continent from north to south.
O’Brady’s voyage was tracked by GPS and live updates of the trip were provided daily on his website colinobrady.com.
O’Brady and an Englishman, Army Captain Louis Rudd, 49, set off individually on November 3 from Union Glacier in a bid to be the first to complete a solo, unassisted crossing of Antarctica.
In 1996-97, a Norwegian polar explorer, Borge Ousland, made the first solo crossing of Antarctica but he was wind-aided by kites on his voyage.
O’Brady and Rudd set off on cross-country skis dragging sleds called pulks which weighed nearly 400 pounds (180 kilograms).
O’Brady reached the South Pole on December 12, the 40th day of his journey.
He arrived at the finish point on the Ross Ice Shelf on the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday after covering a total of 921 miles (1,482 kilometers).
Rudd is about a day or two behind.
O’Brady covered the final 77.5 miles in 32 hours after deciding over breakfast to make one last final push.
“As I was boiling water for my morning oatmeal, a seemingly impossible question popped into my head,” O’Brady wrote on Instagram. “I wonder, would be possible to do one straight continuous push all the way to the end?
“By the time I was lacing up my boots the impossible plan had become a solidified goal,” he said. “I’m going to push on and try to finish all 80 miles to the end in one go.”
The New York Times described O’Brady’s effort as among the “most remarkable feats in polar history,” ranking alongside the 1911 “Race to the South Pole” between Norway’s Roald Amundsen and England’s Robert Falcon Scott.
In 2016, an English army officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Worsley, died while trying to complete an unassisted solo crossing of Antarctica.
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