Preet Chandi, a 32-year-old British Army officer of Indian-origin is embarking on the long and gruelling voyage to be the first woman of colour make a solo and unsupported trip to the South Pole (Pic. Courtesy polarpreet.com)
Preet Chandi, a 32-year-old British Army officer of Indian-origin is embarking on the long and gruelling voyage to be the first woman of colour make a solo and unsupported trip to the South Pole.
She flew to Chile on Sunday, to be dropped at Antarctica's Hercules Inlet. From there, Chandi will trek solo 700 miles across the ice to the South Pole, hauling a sled weighing 90 kilograms with all her kit, fuel and food to last her 45 days.
Temperatures will dip as low as minus 50 Celsius (minus 58 Fahrenheit) with wind chill. Her only contact with the outside world will be a daily check-in with her support team.
Chandi, who has adopted the nickname "Polar Preet" for her blog and fundraising efforts, has spent two and a half years preparing for the gruelling expedition.
She's undergone rigorous training in the French Alps, trekked across Iceland's Langjökull Glacier and endured 27 days on the ice cap in Greenland. She has also been dragging a heavy tire behind her back home in England, as practice for pulling a sled.
The Army captain is determined to achieve her goal and hopes to inspire others to push their boundaries and defy cultural norms.
"I'm not really the image I think people expect to see, even now," she told CNN, referring to her Indian background. "I'm told that 'you don't really look like a polar explorer.'"
Other women have skied to the South Pole, with Norway’s Liv Arnesen the first in the world to make the trip alone and unsupported in 1994. But Chandi aims to be the first woman of colour to accomplish the feat.