‘Polar Preet’ aims to become first woman to trek solo across Antarctica

British Army medical officer Preet Chandi became the first woman of colour to complete a solo, unaided trip to the South Pole in January.

16 July 2022

An Army officer who made history trekking to the South Pole is now hoping to become the first woman to complete a solo and unsupported crossing of Antarctica.

Captain Preet Chandi, a British Army medical officer, became the first woman of colour to complete a solo, unaided trip to the South Pole in January after she trekked 700 miles in 40 days.

The 33-year-old said that she is now training for “phase two” of her expedition, which will involve travelling more than 1,000 miles, enduring temperatures of up to minus 50C and wind speeds of up to 60mph, and pulling a sledge alongside her kit.

The coast-to-coast journey, which she plans to begin in October, is expected to take around 75 days.

Capt Chandhi, from Derby, will be taking a few months of leave from the Army at the end of the year for her expedition.

In an Instagram post announcing the expedition, she said: “Why did I go to Antarctica in the first place and why am I going back?

“I wanted to show that no matter where we are from, no matter what we look like, we can achieve anything we want.

“I want to inspire others to push their boundaries and encourage them to believe in themselves. I want to break that glass ceiling!”

The Army physiotherapist has shared further updates on her trip, writing on her blog that she is “doing so many things now that I wouldn’t have thought I was capable of even 5 years ago… don’t limit yourself.”

Her daily training routine includes cardio and strength training as well as dragging tyres to replicate the weight of her sledge, The Telegraph reported.

When she completed her 700-mile journey to the South Pole earlier this year, Capt Chandhi – who also goes by the name “Polar Preet” – said it felt “surreal”.

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