An Oregon man became the first person to traverse Antarctica alone without any assistance on Wednesday. Colin O’Brady trekking across the polar continent in an epic 54-day journey that was previously deemed impossible.
O’Brady, of Portland, finished the bone-chilling, 930-mile journey as friends, family and fans tracked the endurance athlete’s progress in real time online.
The 33-year-old O’Brady documented his nearly entirely uphill journey — which he called The Impossible First — on his Instagram page . He wrote Wednesday that he covered the last roughly 80 miles in one big, impromptu final push to the finish line that took well over an entire day.
Though others have traversed Antarctica, they either had assistance with reinforced supplies or kites that helped propel them forward.
O’Brady described in detail the ups and downs along the way since he began the trek on Nov. 3. He had to haul 375 pounds of gear largely uphill and over sastrugi, wave-like ridges created by wind.
On Nov. 18, he wrote that he awoke to find his sled completely buried from an all-night blasting of wind and snow. That day he battled a 30 mph headwind for eight hours as he trudged along.
As for what’s next for O’Brady, who also has summited Mount Everest, Besaw said she’s not entirely sure.
“We are just so in the moment celebrating this right now,” she said. “Then we’ll see what’s next on the horizon.”