A British military member asserts the title for the swiftest solo female to traverse Antarctica on skis.

A British army medical officer, Capt Harpreet Chandi, also known as Polar Preet, is ecstatic after completing a solo ski journey across the Antarctic ice. She claims to have broken the record by covering a distance of 1,130km (702 miles) in just 31 days, 13 hours, and 19 minutes. This feat marks her third world record in Antarctic trekking, having previously shattered two other Guinness World Records.

Capt Chandi surpassed the previous record holder, Caroline Cote from Canada, by a margin of one day, 14 hours, and 34 minutes. However, the claim still needs verification from the Guinness World Records, a process that can take several months.

Expressing her happiness, Capt Chandi said, “I’m exhausted but extremely delighted to have accomplished this feat. Antarctica is an incredibly awe-inspiring place, and it’s a true privilege to be able to experience it. It’s not a conquerable place, but rather one that demands respect and a hope for a safe voyage.”

The journey began for Capt Chandi on 26th November, departing from the Hercules inlet on the Ronne ice shelf. She reached the South Pole at 2:24 am UK time on Thursday. This remarkable achievement comes after her previous history-making accomplishment in 2021, where she became the first woman of color to complete a 700-mile solo and unsupported expedition to the South Pole.

During her latest adventure, Chandi battled tough conditions, including extreme temperatures of -30°C, whiteouts, and the scorching sun. Carrying a 75kg sled containing all her necessities, she spent an average of 12-13 hours skiing each day. Being well aware of her physical limits, she carefully managed her effort to avoid burning out or missing out on the record.

Talking about her ordeal, Capt Chandi said, “It definitely wasn’t a sprint. I had to constantly evaluate my effort and determine how long I could ski each day. Going too fast or too long would exhaust me, while going too slow or finishing too early could cost me the record. I focused on what I could control and took it step by step, overcoming challenges like unpredictable weather conditions along the way.”

Currently on a career break from military service, Capt Chandi has plans to celebrate her achievement with a visit to Nando’s, a popular chain of restaurants. Afterward, she will begin contemplating her next thrilling adventure.

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