American Completes 'Impossible First' in Antarctica

Colin O'Brady finished trek in 32-hour push
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2018 2:32 AM CST
Updated Dec 30, 2018 1:04 PM CST
American Completes 'Impossible First' in Antarctica
This Dec. 9, 2018, selfie provided by Colin O'Brady, of Portland., Ore., shows himself in Antarctica.   (Colin O'Brady via AP)

With a final, 32-hour push, American explorer Colin O'Brady has completed a journey seen as an "impossible first": a solo, unaided, 921-mile trek across Antarctica. "I did it!" the 33-year-old told his family in Portland, Ore., after finishing the journey in 54 days. O'Brady was racing to make it to the Ross Ice Shelf finish line before British adventurer Louis Rudd, who was making the journey in honor of his friend Henry Worsley, the AP reports. Worsley died in 2016 after attempting the feat and turning back just 30 miles from the end. O'Brady documented his amazing journey on his Instagram page.

O'Brady, whose journey was unaided by wind, says he knew his lead over Rudd was safe—but he still decided to complete the final 77.5 miles in one push after waking up Christmas morning. "I don’t know, something overcame me," he told the New York Times after finishing the trek. "I just felt locked in for the last 32 hours, like a deep flow state. I didn’t listen to any music—just locked in, like I'm going until I'm done. It was profound, it was beautiful, and it was an amazing way to finish up the project." He said he planned to pitch his tent, finally get some sleep, and wait for Rudd to arrive. "My plan is to wait here for Lou and fly to Union Glacier together," he said. (More Antarctica stories.)

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