Celebrating Polar Preet who has just passed the half way mark to the South Pole!
Team Army, Amey, Dell, Fujitsu, Harmonic, Microsoft, Qiotiq and Ultra are incredibly proud to be supporting this amazing woman on her record breaking expedition. Capt Preet Chandi is currently attempting to become the first woman of colour to cross Antarctica unsupported and has just passed the halfway mark of the expedition! Her daily reports give some idea of the trials and tribulations she is facing as she drags her pulk on her 700 mile journey in hostile and dangerous terrain whilst battling wind speeds of up to 60mph and temperatures of -50C.
In Preet’s Day 21 update from her website, she said ‘I made it to Thiels corner which is my half way point. There’s a fuel depot here and a toilet as well. I didn’t use the toilet though, I didn’t want to get used to that little bit of comfort of sitting on a toilet rather than digging a hole in the snow and squatting. I could see the mountain range to the west of Thiels corner too. Its great to actually ski towards something, I haven’t seen any features like this since the start.
Day 22 Preet stated, ‘Tough day today. Around 30mph headwind to start, plus snow, felt like my pulk was a deadweight and of course uphill. The wind was increasing to about 40mph this evening to the point where I had to stop to put my tent up. You may be able to hear it in the background. I was being a bit tough on myself for finishing slightly earlier and then had to remind myself that I’m actually doing way more hours than I had planned and I’m also way ahead of schedule. I’ve been averaging on about five and a half hours sleep so I may reduce my skiing hours in the next few days anyway. I’m also eating constantly, I’m currently on about 5,000 calories a day and probably burning almost double that.
I also wanted to add in tonight’s blog, that it took me a long time to be proud of the colour of my skin. I used to be embarrassed, having eggs thrown at me and people spit at me when I was a teenager because I ‘looked different’ certainly didn’t help. It took me a while to appreciate my culture and my roots, so when I describe myself as a ‘woman of colour’ it is because I am finally proud of my skin colour, my roots, my culture. This term isn’t used to offend anyone. It is part of me and doing this expedition as a woman of colour is incredibly powerful. Having been told on many occasions that I don’t look like a polar explorer… lets change the image you expect to see.’
Maj Gen Lamont Kirkland, CEO Team Army said, “Preet has a unique and compelling backstory and is one of the most determined, tenacious and motivated women I have encountered. The world needs more adventurous women who see challenges not barriers and have the courage to pursue an idea. Team Army has a history of supporting Polar explorers so we are extremely proud to be supporting Preet on her historic and ambitious journey to the end of the earth.”
Wonderful shout out for Team Army in Preet’s blog – November 30, 2021
‘Hi Everyone, I cant believe I have been out here for a whole week. This is definitely the longest I have ever been alone and not seen anyone else. I skied for 11 hours today which is the furthest I’ve done so far. I wont be going for longer than this as I still need to find time for my tent admin, melting snow, eating my food and of course sleeping.
Visibility was good again today and once I’d taken a bearing on my compass I was able to use my shadow for navigation. I used full length skins at the start of the journey for more grip as there’s a lot of height gain in the first degree and last night I put my half skins on. Skins are a carpet like material that I screw into the bottom of my skis to help me grip to the snow with one leg and glide with the other.
For this blog I would like to say a huge thank you to Maj Gen Lamont Kirkland and everybody from Team Army. Maj Gen Lamont Kirkland is one of the best LinkedIn connections I have made, you may get a few more LinkedIn requests after this Sir! I also want to give a mention to Catharine Moss from Team Army who has been amazing, she created my flag, logos and so much more! They are a fantastic sponsor and I feel privileged to have them on board. So thankyou very much.’
When she’s not in the Antarctic, Preet is based at a Medical Regiment in the North West of England where her primary role is as a physiotherapist, she’s also the medical lead for the Army Rugby 7s team and occasionally works with the Army Engagement team.
Although Preet has a day job, her first love is adventure, and pushing mental and physical boundaries. As well as playing tennis competitively for the Army she has trained to become a Nordic ski instructor. She has hiked and climbed in Kenya, Morocco, Mexico, Nepal, Bolivia, Peru, Iceland and the Alps and last year she completed the gruelling Marathon des Sables – a six-day, 251km ultra-marathon in the Saharan desert.
“This is a solo expedition but I’m not doing this on my own, there are so many people supporting me.”
Captain Preet Chandi
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