Colin O’Brady Becomes the First Person to Cross Antarctica Unaided and Unsupported
After 54 long days battling subzero temperatures, wind storms, and complete white-outs, Colin O’Brady has become the first person to cross Antarctica alone, unaided without support or supply drops.
Most people don’t wake up with a goal to travel the continent of Antarctica coast-to-coast, totally alone, with no re-supplying along the way. Colin O’Brady did, and Discovery followed him to the finish line.
O’Brady, one of the two men racing to become the first person to trek across Antarctica unassisted, completed the first solo, unsupported, and unaided crossing of Antarctica on December 26, 2018.
The professional endurance athlete traveled 932 miles across the continent in 54 days, beating friend British army Capt. Louis Rudd by only two days.
With only 77.54 miles remaining of the 921-mile journey across Antarctica, O’Brady plunged ahead in one final sleepless, 32-hour trek on the 53rd day of his excursion.
“I don’t know, something overcame me,” O’Brady said to the New York Times. “I just felt locked in for the last 32 hours, like a deep flow state. I didn’t listen to any music—just locked in, like I’m going until I’m done. It was profound, it was beautiful, and it was an amazing way to finish up the project.”
For almost two months, he dragged a 400-pound sled behind him. In it, he packed supplies that could withstand temperatures averaging -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
“You know, as physical as a challenge this was, more than anything, it's a mental challenge, you know, to be out there day after day alone. There's, you know, so many moments of fear and just, you know, questioning, what am I doing? Is this worth it? Why? Why? Why? But also, one of the beautiful things was finding that peace and calm in my mind. Even in the midst of some really challenging moments, I was able to find peace and calm. And it truly gave me the strength and power to continue,” O’Brady told NPR.
With one trek under his belt, many are wondering what O’Brady will do next. Stay tuned with Discovery to find out.