Antarctica, the final continent on Earth, has few human footsteps; however of what there may be, the ski tracks left by Preet Chandi are very particular.
Nicknamed “Polar Preet”, the British Army officer of Indian origin not too long ago completed one more unsupported solo snowboarding expedition to Antarctica for the yr 2023. She introduced her success with an Instagram put up on the finish of December, headlining it: “Sooooo…I did it once more… just a little sooner.”
She stated in her put up: “I got here again to Antarctica this yr however with out letting the world know upfront [and] accomplished one other solo unsupported expedition from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole however with a very particular aim.”
The half about “got here again” refers to her Antarctica snowboarding expedition in January 2023. A BBC report on that journey stated: “A British Army officer has damaged a second world report in the middle of an Antarctic trek. Preet Chandi, often known as Polar Preet, has not solely surpassed the world report for the longest solo and unsupported polar expedition by a lady, but in addition the general report.”
“My expedition was a feminine pace report”
Chandi, who’s from Derbyshire, England, had first trekked to the South Pole in 2021.
The January 2023 report stated: “In her newest feat, Capt Chandi coated 922 miles (1,485km) in 70 days and 16 hours. Capt Chandi, 33, exceeded the earlier world report of 907 miles (1,459.8km), set by Henry Worsley, a retired Lieutenant Colonel, in 2015.”
The report additionally stated: “The earlier longest unsupported solo feminine distance report was 858 miles (1,381km), accomplished by Anja Blacha in 2020.”
These numbers arrange the context for what is supposed by “sooner”.
Outlining her December 2023 journey within the Instagram put up, Chandi wrote: “My expedition was a feminine pace report. I accomplished the solo unsupported expedition in 31 days, 13 hours and 19 minutes. I’ve utilized for the GWR and awaiting affirmation. It doesn’t belong to me alone. It belongs to everybody that helped me get right here. It is ours. I’m positive I can’t maintain the report for lengthy and can fortunately assist the one who beats it.”
“I pushed as lengthy and laborious as I may”
GWR, or the Guinness World Records, already has Chandi’s title on two certificates — she acquired them for her January 2023 expedition. Describing that journey, she wrote a put up headlined “Failure” on Instagram on April 21. That might sound baffling, because the expedition was evidently a record-breaking success. She elaborated on the rationale.
Her put up defined: “My purpose was to full a solo unsupported expedition of Antarctica and end at Reedy Glacier. I fell about 100 miles quick and failed to meet my preliminary purpose. When I completed, I’ll admit I felt disillusioned.
“But once I use the phrase failure now I don’t imply it to include unfavorable connotations. I failed to attain my preliminary purpose. I had to change the aim and that’s precisely what I did. I stored going for so long as I may. I completed on the 23 Jan 2023, the final passenger flight out of Antarctica was on the 24 Jan. I pushed as lengthy and laborious as I may.”
“Please, dream huge. If you don’t obtain that finish aim, that’s okay”
Pushing oneself has to be a character trait of anybody who traverses a place as daunting as Antarctica. Chandi has that capacity in spades.
BBC Woman’s Hour, which interviewed “Polar Preet” following her January 2023 feat, posted on social media: “Preet says it’s the toughest factor she’s ever finished, however regardless of falling over greater than 40 occasions in at some point and struggling a chilly burn to her calf, she stored going. She desires the expedition to encourage different folks to push their boundaries and consider in themselves.
“Preet additionally advised (interviewer) Anita about her mum assembly her on the airport with parathas when she arrived again to the UK, and the way she’s nonetheless slowly making an attempt to get a huge knot out of her hair after not brushing it for 70 days.”
In that interview, Chandi strengthened the message of believing in oneself, just doing as a lot as attainable and adapting to conditions: “Please, dream huge. If you don’t obtain that finish aim, that’s okay.”
Urging her viewers to discover what was outdoors the field labelled “regular”, Chandi stated, “If a Punjabi lady from Derby can go and do that, you possibly can go and obtain something, as a result of nothing is not possible.”
“We usually face limitations and naysayers the extra we obtain…”
The earlier Antarctica expedition had left Chandi with fairly an harm — termed “polar thigh”, despite the fact that it was on her calf — to get well from in 2023. The wound was induced not by her gear, however by the wind and chilly in that excessive local weather.
“It began fairly early on within the 70 day exped; it regarded like a bruise to begin with after which a scab. When the scab broke open, the ache bought worse. I rationed my ache reduction for so long as I may and had one pill left for the final 2 weeks (I took that within the final 48hrs),” she defined on Instagram.
In view of this, the most recent South Pole expedition had been unsure. But “Polar Preet” was no quitter. “It took me a whereas to get well and I didn’t assume I might come again out once more this season. And then that little thought got here into my head… what if…
“Could I try a pace report?? This journey was a bit totally different for me, I truthfully didn’t know if I might be fast sufficient however thought I’ll do every part I can and let’s see!” she wrote on Instagram on the finish of December 2023, giving followers a look into how she had prepped her thoughts for an additional shot at South Pole glory.
Gratitude was expressed, too: “This was a solo expedition however there are such a lot of those that helped me get right here. These journeys are a lot larger than me. It was solely a few years in the past that I didn’t know something about this world and now I’m nonetheless amazed at what I can obtain.
“We usually face limitations and naysayers the extra we obtain, one thing I proceed to wrestle with. But their phrases or actions haven’t stopped me but and don’t allow them to cease you both.”