Challenges

A Man Crosses Antarctica Alone and Unassisted for the First Time Ever

Colin O’Brady

American explorer Colin O’ Brady has become the first person to cross the 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 assistance of any kind. Under extreme weather conditions, the explorer and sports enthusiast covered approximately 1,5500 kilometers (930 miles) while carrying a 170 kg (375 pounds) sled.

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 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.”

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 favorite 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 moistures, making the arctic landscape just like a dessert. Under such conditions, explorers must carry all the calories they consume while keeping their energy levels up.

View this post on Instagram

Day 40: SOUTH POLE!!! I made it!!! What a day. I expected to be happy reaching the South Pole, but today has quite honestly been one of the best days of my entire life. It was whiteout conditions approaching the pole as it’s been for days. I spent about an hour there – taking photos and soaking in the moment before continuing onward. I am deeply honored to be adding to the 100 year lineage of the @explorersclub flag. Just having that fabric in my hand at the pole, knowing all of the other hands it’s touched over the generations, gives me chills. Shortly after leaving the pole the sun came out and I was overcome with one of the deepest feelings of happiness and calm that I have ever experienced. I truly felt I was tapping into all of the love that was being sent my way from all over the world. Deep, deep, deep gratitude – I’m shining my love right back at you. Some perspective on today’s accomplishment (which for me feels completely humbling, putting me in rare company.) Only 28 people before me have completed coast to pole crossing; skied from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole, solo, unsupported (no resupplies), and unaided (no kites). Only 2 people before me have done so on this route. For all of these people the South Pole was a very worthy finish line, but I still have unfinished business as I try to be the very first to complete a full traverse and reach the opposite coast. Onward!! #TheImpossibleFirst #BePossible

A post shared by Colin O'Brady (@colinobrady) on

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.

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