Arctic/Antarctic

Polar Preet completes her historic 700-mile Antarctic trek

A British Army captain has made history by becoming the first woman of colour to cross Antarctica unsupported.

Captain Harpreet Chandi has arrived safely at the South Pole after a 700-mile trek in 40 days.

She battled bouts of sickness and diarrhoea as she took on the harsh conditions of Antarctica, which meant temperatures of -50°C and wind speeds of up to 60mph.

Watch: Polar Preet's journey in pictures.

Checking in from the South Pole on Day 40, Capt Chandi said she was "feeling so many emotions."

She completed the expedition to encourage others to push boundaries "without being labelled a rebel", she explained.

Capt Chandi added: "We create our own normal. You are capable of anything you want, no matter where you are from, where your start line is - everybody starts somewhere.

"I don't want to just break the glass ceiling, I want to smash it into a million pieces. Who's with me?"

Polar Preet also had to pull all her kit on a sled.

On her journey, she gave special mentions to BFBS for supporting her history-making Antarctic challenge.

In her Day 39 blog post, Capt Chandi said: "It has been a long few days but I'm doing well and I'm super close now as well.

"So, the weather can change so quickly here, it was so cold yesterday, I think about minus 45 degrees with wind chill and then in the afternoon there was hardly any wind at all which was amazing.

"It definitely feels colder in the last degree where I'm at higher altitude. I haven't seen anyone here in the last degree and now I'm 15 nautical miles from the south pole. I can't believe I'm almost there."

Retired Major General Lamont Kirkland from the Team Army Sports Foundation, which backed the challenge, told Forces News: "There are plenty of adjectives that could describe Captain Preet Chandi – tenacious is right up there as one of them, determination, this sense of ambition.

"This girl is amazing, in every which way. I had that sense when I first talked to her and when I met her for the first time at her launch event in October.

"I was absolutely sure, in all certainty, that she would make this."