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Meet Polar Preet, The British-Indian Woman Who’s Made History With Her Solo Trip To The South Pole

In early November 2021, Captain Preet Chandi aka Polar Preet, a 32-year-old British-Indian army officer, began her journey to the South Pole. 40 days later, she has become the first woman of colour to complete the 700-mile expedition solo! By Rashima Nagpal

Army officer, physiotherapist, Nordic skier, ultra-marathon runner, endurance athlete… and now the first woman of colour to have trekked to the South Pole solo in record 40 days, Harpreet or Preet Chandi (aka Polar Preet) is an inspiration to reckon with. Her journey involved walking 700 miles from Antarctica’s Hercules Inlet to the South Pole, pulling a 90 kg-sledge with all of her kit (including food and fuel to last 45 days), battling temperatures of up to -50 degrees Celsius and wind speeds of up to 60mph.

One Day At A Time

The braveheart had been recording her journey via voicemails to her family and support team, who’d then transcribe them as posts on her blog and social media. In her latest update on January 3, 2022, Polar Preet declared, “Hello everyone, checking in from day 40. I made it to the South Pole where its 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.”

A sports enthusiast since her teenage years, Polar Preet had been preparing for this expedition for over two years now, spending all her life savings on training. “It was really tough at times but it was all worth it because I’m actually here now,” she said in her blog from Day 5. Her messages from Antarctica spoke of sastrugi, weather conditions, being alone in the middle of nowhere, and the challenges she faced. But above all, she’s emphasised that the aim of this expedition has been to inspire women of colour like herself, including her eight-year-old niece. “I want her to grow up without boundaries, knowing the possibilities of what you can achieve in life are endless,” she said.

Related: Female Captain Leads Lindblad’s Newest Expedition Cruise Into Antarctica

Rashima Nagpal

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