A US adventurer has become the first person to complete a solo trek across Antarctica without assistance of any kind.
Colin O’Brady, 33, took 54 days to complete the nearly 1,600km crossing of the frozen continent from north to south.
“I accomplished my goal: to become the first person in history to traverse the continent of Antarctica coast to coast solo, unsupported and unaided,” O’Brady wrote on Instagram after covering the final 125km in 32 hours.
Photo: AP / Colin O’Brady
“While the last 32 hours were some of the most challenging hours of my life, they have quite honestly been some of the best moments I have ever experienced,” he wrote. “I was locked in a deep flow state the entire time, equally focused on the end goal, while allowing my mind to recount the profound lessons of this journey. I’m delirious writing this as I haven’t slept yet.”
His voyage was tracked by GPS and live updates of the trip were provided daily on his Web site colinobrady.com.
O’Brady and an Englishman, Army Captain Louis Rudd, 49, set off individually on Nov. 3 from Union Glacier in a bid to be the first to complete a solo, unassisted crossing of Antarctica.
From 1996 to 1997, Norwegian Borge Ousland made the first solo crossing of Antarctica, but he was wind-aided by kites on his voyage.
O’Brady and Rudd set out on cross-country skis dragging sleds called pulks that weighed nearly 180kg.
O’Brady reached the South Pole on Dec. 12, the 40th day of his journey.
He arrived at the finish point on the Ross Ice Shelf on the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday after covering a total of 1,482km.
Rudd is about a day or two behind.
O’Brady said he made the decision over breakfast to finish his journey in one continuous push.
“As I was boiling water for my morning oatmeal, a seemingly impossible question popped into my head,” O’Brady wrote on Instagram. “I wonder, would [it] be possible to do one straight continuous push all the way to the end?”
“By the time I was lacing up my boots the impossible plan had become a solidified goal,” he said. “I’m going to push on and try to finish all 80 miles [129km] to the end in one go.”
The New York Times called O’Brady’s effort among the “most remarkable feats in polar history,” ranking alongside the 1911 “Race to the South Pole” between Norway’s Roald Amundsen and England’s Robert Falcon Scott.
“To complete the final 77.54 miles [125km] in one shot — essentially tacking an ultramarathon onto the 53rd day of an already unprecedented journey — set an even higher bar for anyone who tries to surpass it,” the newspaper wrote.
In 2016, English army officer Lieutenant Colonel Henry Worsley died while trying to complete an unassisted solo crossing of Antarctica.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting