Colin O’Brady, a Yale Graduate from Portland, Oregon, spent Christmas Day traversing Antarctica. While many people spend time in this remote location, O’Brady was about to complete a very special journey. On December 26, he became the first person to cross Antarctica solo and unassisted. The trek took 54 days in total and he recorded his journey via his Instagram account, which was his only source of contact with the outside world. Now, Colin has spoken out about his solo journey.
O’Brady had trained extensively before making the journey. However, in an interview with NBC News, Colin O’Brady, 33, spoke of how the mental aspect of the trip was actually the hardest part.
“I would, without a doubt, say that the mental part is harder,” O’Brady told NBC News.
“The physical part I would say is required. The fortitude to keep going every day through those conditions no matter what was happening… At the end of the day, the mental is really crucial in achieving this.”
Colin also spoke to Today about the rigors of his journey.
“It’s mostly a sea of white, 24 hours of daylight, the average temperature was about -25 degrees,” he said. “Sometimes 50-60 mile per winds blowing me off my feet but the immense kind of blank white allows for the mind to kind of relax.”
Even though O’Brady found the blanket of white relaxing, it didn’t mean he could let his concentration lapse as well.
“The navigation is challenging, I had a compass that I had down here. Usually, if it was sunny I could usually see a bit further and kind of see some shadows. But in the white-out, sometimes 15 hours, all I could do is just stare at my compass.”
While the trek was arduous, O’Brady told NBC News that he was “humbled” by the experience.
“To actually be in that moment of finishing and know the impossible has now become possible — was an incredible, incredible moment for me,” O’Brady revealed.
And, for those that are wondering whether Colin will slow down after this massive undertaking, it seems to not be the case.
“I want to continue to push the boundaries of human potential. I’m sure there’ll be another expedition or project that I kind of dream up,” O’Brady said.
While O’Brady was the first person to travel solo and unassisted across Antarctica, the feat has been attempted before. People have previously successfully made the crossing but were assisted “reinforced supplies or kites that helped propel them forward,” according to New Haven Register.
In addition to this crossing, O’Brady was the first successful person to make the crossing only by a matter of days. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Captain Louis Rudd was also making the same journey at roughly the same time. According to The Guardian, Rudd completed his solo trek less than two days after O’Brady did.