British Sikh army officer Preet Chandi on Monday became the first woman of color to complete a solo expedition to the South Pole, the army officer said in her blog Polar Preet, via a post. She took to her blog to make the announcement and said that she felt many emotions upon setting this new record.
“I made it to the South Pole where it’s snowing. Feeling so many emotions right now. I knew nothing about the polar world three years ago and it feels so surreal to finally be here. It was tough getting here and I want to thank everybody for their support,” Preet said in her post.
The 32-year-old, who set out for the solo expedition in November earlier this year, completed the journey in 40 days. She set out for Chile on November 7 and embarked on her journey towards the southernmost tip of the planet via the Hercules’ Inlet in Antarctica.
Preet carried with her a sled which weighed close to a hundred kilos, which contained fuel, medicines and food which was slated to last for 45 days. Her only way of contacting the outside world was with the help of her support team who conducted daily check-ins and updated the world on her journey via Instagram posts. Preet fought against the odds along with illness, isolation and extreme frigid temperatures.
She also received 24 hours of sunlight as the sun does not set in Antarctica for almost four months during the spring and summer season. The spring season starts in September and lasts till November while the summer season begins in December and ends in February.
Preet prepared for her solo expedition by undergoing crevice training in the French Alps. She also trekked across Iceland’s Langjökull Glacier, according to a report by news agency CNN. The report also pointed out that she endured 27 days on the ice cap in Greenland and dragged heavy tires on her back when she was at her home in England to prepare for her solo expedition.
Preet also remains hopeful that her feat will inspire more women and especially women of color to aim for such feats which challenge human endurance in testing climatic conditions in Earth’s extreme places.