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At the foot of the world, a 33-year-old is walking alone through the Antarctic – a journey that no one has survived. He is …

colin o & # 39; brady südpol-trek.jpg

  • Colin O Brady wants to be the first person to cross the Antarctic alone and unaided.
  • Everyone else who tried the solo trek either died or gave up.
  • O Brady brings a 400-pound sled to take all his food and gear, and he expects to finish the 1,000-mile trip in 70 days.

33-year-old Colin O & #; Brady prepares for a job somewhere on earth that no one has done successfully. In the Antarctic alone, he is traveling almost 1,000 kilometers without support.

Anyone who has ever attempted this solo trip has either given up or died.

"This is something no one in history has ever achieved, and people have tried for 100 years," the American researcher told Business Insider. He spoke with his Airbnb in Punta Arenas, Chile, just ten hours before he went to Antarctica on a Russian cargo plane.

With the help of his wife Jenna, O Brady finished at the last minute: she a piece of warm fleece sewn onto his face mask, Weighed food and packed everything in the 400-pound sacks, where he'll carry everything he needs to survive the next 70 days.

"Every little ounce and ounce I put in my sled must pay off," he said. "I bring 220 pounds of food, but a pair of underwear, in the end I'll get dirty!"

O & # 39; Brady begins his trek at the top of the Ross Ice Shelf. A small plane will drain him there. Then, some time about nowHe begins with the skis the climb towards the South Pole. He hopes to land on the Ronne Ice Shelf adjacent to the Weddell Sea.

Trekking 1,000 miles in 70 days means O & # 39; Brady has to travel an average of 14 miles per day to bring his sled. He said, however, that the daily distance will vary from the beginning of his journey to the end. Every night a sleeping bag and a tent protect him from the bitter cold.

If something goes wrong, O & # Brady is equipped with a satellite phone.

colin o & brady in cold greenland.JPGCourtesy of Colin O'Brady

Only a man and a sled

Most of the burden that O & # 39; Brady puts on the sled is food, as he is convinced that this is the element that anyone who tried this before him had miscalculated.

In addition to skis and tents, he also brings along a GPS tracker, a few cameras, additional phones and a solar charger for this electronics. It should not be difficult to get through the sun, as the daylight in the Antarctic summer lasts 24 hours. Because of this, he uses a sleep mask when he is resting.

The only "extra" garment that O & # 39; Brady has is a bonus pair of socks. All other garments are stacked to keep warm: South Pole temperatures average -18 degrees Fahrenheit (-28.2 ° C) at this time of the year.

When it is so cold, the body tends to put on more protective brown fat. Unlike white fat, brown fat is a survival mechanism: it's a way to convert the food we eat into heat. People who live and work in cold temperatures, such as loggers and farmers in cold weather, tend to have more fat of this kind around their neck and heart.

To keep the body vulnerable, brown fat speeds up the metabolism, meaning that Brad Brady has to consume about 8,000 calories a day to fill his 10 to 12-hour sleigh suits.

colin south pole sled greenland trek.jpgCourtesy of Colin O'Brady

To this end, O & # 39; Brady's pack contains special energy bars of about 1,250 calories, which his sponsor has developed Standard Process Supplements. They call it the Colin Bar.

The bar is rich in high-fat coconut oil and also contains nuts, seeds, vegetable protein and some cocoa powder. O & # 39; Brady will eat four of them every day, which accounts for a lot of his calories (nearly 5,000).

The rest of his diet consists of freeze-dried astronaut-style meals he takes at the beginning and at the end of the day. These can be rehydrated with boiling water, which he heats with a storage oven and some of the 30 pounds of fuel that he has packed.

He is aware that this meal plan sounds a bit unfortunate.

"Unfortunately, fresh food is a bit too heavy," he said.

His route leads through the Antarctic

O & # 39; Brady will begin his journey near Mount Markham, one of the highest peaks on the continent with a height of more than 1,470 meters. From there it goes to the South Pole at an altitude of 930 meters. At this point, it is a little less than half of the walk.

"It's imperceptibly up and down with the naked eye," O Brady said of the ski route he wants to take. "But you really feel it when you pull that much weight."

After passing the pole, O'Bride hopes to get faster as he pulls a lighter load by then. His path will form a kind of "L" pointing to the West Antarctic ice sheet.

"If I eat my food and burn my gas, the sled will be lighter and lighter," he said.

O, Brady knows how to move fast. In 2016, he traveled in only 132 days to the highest peaks of all seven continents, including Everest and Antarctica. This set him the world record for the fastest rise of the seven peaks.

He has also completed triathlon races, hiked to both the North and South Poles and recently completed a 30-day 400-mile training run with his sled in Greenland.

But this journey, on the driest and coolest continent in the world, may be his slowest venture so far.

"If you have a 400-pound sled there will be no running, it will be very slow," he said. "When it's minus 40 degrees outside, it's a big effort to move."

Preparing to haul the sledCourtesy of Colin O'Brady

The journey can cool the fingertips off your hands

The crossing of the Antarctic remains an open challenge, but adventurer Mike Horn completed a 57-day ski tour from north to south on the continent in 2017. In the same year, the 40-year-old Englishman Ben Saunders attempted a solo crossing, but had to end his search for 52 days, when the food came to an end.

Before Saunders, 55-year-old Henry Worsley had made over 800 miles, as the New Yorker described in detail. He lost 40 pounds and a fingertip before requesting an emergency rescue. Saunders died of a bacterial infection in a hospital in Punta Arenas, Chile, in the same city where Brady was staying before leaving for his trip.

Despite these huge contradictions, O & # 39; Brady is not the only one trying a solo trek this month. The 49-year-old Louis Rudd from the United Kingdom now leaves from across the Antarctic, as the New Yorker recently reported. It is possible that the two men can cross each other when they reach the apex of their climbs.

O Brady's preparation for this quest requires a lot of training. His strength and anaerobic power have increased along with his body weight. The six foot athlete normally weighs 165 pounds, but after months of lifting, squats, and weight training, he puts on almost 20 pounds of muscle.

increase The impossible first / Colin O'Brady

Since this is the longest O & # 39; Brady who has ever gone without human contact, he has spent years training his mind. He has conducted regular, monk-like Vipassana sessions in which he spends 10 days in complete silence. No reading, no writing, no eye contact.

Of course, being in Antarctica is not the same thing as a Buddhist retreat, but O & Brady hopes the training will help.

"There is not much extra hours a day or extra energy, so I probably will not spend much time meditating in my tent, in the traditional sense," he said. "But in many ways, I think this will be a walking meditation."

There are, however, some possibilities for human interaction. O & # 39; s Brady plans to post regularly on Instagram and answer questions about his trip. There will also be an occasional talk with his wife.

"It's really expensive to make those calls," he said. "So it's not like chit-chatting on the phone."

He joked that he will be so stinky when it's all over, he's not sure if his wife Jenna wants to hug him at all.

"Reservoir's untapped potential"

O Brady said he regards his journey as a "testament" to "the human spirit."

"Everyone has reserves of untapped potential in them and can really do incredible things," he said.

But he found that even strength and determination have their limits.

"The risks are very real and I'm aware of that, and I've prepared accordingly, not to die, but to make the best and safest decisions I can," said Brady.

Sledging sledges in Greenland.JPGThe impossible first / Colin O'Brady

He now gets his first taste of the white, cool expanse of Antarctica. On Thursday, O & # 39; Brady wrote his first shipment on twitter. He said he held a compass on his chest so he could move in the right direction without dropping the ski poles.

If you want to know where Brady is, you can follow his GPS tracker in real time or check his posts on Instagram.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW CLOCK: NASA says the Antarctic wins ice

See also:

SEE ALSO: For the first time, people are touching the deepest corners of the ocean – an endeavor as dangerous as landing on the moon


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