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Captain Harpreet Chandi becomes first Indian-origin woman to trek solo to South Pole

Captain Harpreet Chandi, an Indian-origin British Sikh Army Officer, and a physiotherapist has created history by becoming the first woman of colour to complete a solo trek to the South Pole.

 

Harpreet Chandi, who is also known as Polar Preet, announced her achievement on her live blog on January 3, 2022, at the end of Day 40.

Harpreet Chandi, during her unsupported trek, had to carry food, a heavy holding kit, and fuel for 40 days. Captain Harpreet Chandi had joined the Army Reserves at the age of 19 and the regular army at 25. She had never camped in her life before.

While announcing the feat in her blog, Chandi wrote that the expedition was always about so much more than her. She flew to Chile before embarking on her solo trek to Antarctica.

In her audio blog, Harpreet Chandi stated that she made it to the South Pole where it is snowing and it feels so surreal to be here. She added that she always wanted to encourage people to push their boundaries and believe in themselves without being labeled as a rebel.

Captain Harpreet Chandi of Indian-Origin started her preparations in French Alps where she underwent the crevasse training. Chandi also trekked across Langjökull Glacier in Iceland and spent 27 days on the Icecap in Greenland.

When she was in England, Harpreet Chandi used to drag a heavy tire behind her back in a bid to stimulate pulling a sled. Chandi’s trip to the South Pole was a solo one and her only contact with the outside world was with her support team.

Captain Harpreet Chandi’s primary role, as a part of a Medical Regiment in the northwest of England, is to organize and validate the training for the medics in the Army as Clinical Training Officer.

Chandi is currently based in London and is completing her Masters’ Degree in Sports and Exercise Medicine.

South Pole also known as the Terrestrial South Pole, Geographic South Pole, or 90th Parallel South, the South Pole is one of the two points where the Earth’s Axis of rotation intersects its surface. The South Pole is the southernmost point on Earth and it lies on the opposite side of the Earth from the North Pole.

South Pole was discovered by a party of Norwegian explorers led by Ronald Amundsen. They were the first-ever expedition to reach the South Pole on December 14, 1911.

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