Captain Preet Chandi at the launch of her Antarctic expedition.
Arctic/Antarctic

Polar Preet: Meet the British Army officer taking on Antarctica

BFBS is sponsoring Captain Harpreet Chandi's attempt to become the first woman of colour to cross the Antarctic unsupported.

Captain Preet Chandi at the launch of her Antarctic expedition.

What do you do next if you have already completed one of the hardest ultra marathons in the world, alongside your military career?

Well, for Captain Harpreet Chandi, you attempt to become the first woman of colour to cross the Antarctic unsupported.

Joining the Regular Army at 27, Capt Chandi is based in the North West of England as a Clinical Training Officer – responsible for organising and training medics in the Army.

Captain Chandi training in Finse, Norway (Picture: British Army).

And it was here her adventures started, with the Senior Medical Officer of her first regiment encouraging Capt Chandi to get involved with Army Adventurous Training (AT).

"He is the first person that actually mentioned Polar expeditions to me," she said.

Her military career has taken her to Nepal, Kenya and South Sudan, and she has also taken on hiking and climbing trips in Morocco, Mexico, the Alps, Bolivia, Peru, Iceland and Nepal.

And as well as expeditions, Capt Chandi has also taken on fundraisers – including a 24-hour 'step-up' challenge in May last year to raise money for NHS health workers.

But now she will take on a solo trek to the South Pole.

She has taken on training expeditions to Greenland and Norway, as well as Nordic ski seasons with the Army.

But the 700-mile journey across the Antarctic is a step further.

Set to take 45 days, Capt Chandi will pull a sled with all her kit, while battling temperatures of -50°C and wind speeds of up to 60mph.

Icy landscape of Antarctica 281112 CREDIT IMAGEBROKER, ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
Capt Chandi's journey across the Antarctic is set to take 45 days (Picture: imageBROKER/Alamy).

Currently living in London, Capt Chandi is undertaking a training regime to prepare her for the crossing.

This includes dragging tyres, to simulate pulling a sled, as well as a combination of strength and conditioning training.

Former Army Captain Louis Rudd, the first Briton to complete a crossing of the Antarctic in 2018, is Capt Chandi's expedition manager and has been helping her with training.

But the military connection doesn't stop there.

As well as being sponsored by BFBS, Capt Chandi acknowledges that there is a vast team helping to get her there.

Captain Harpreet Chandi building a snow wall in preparation for a storm in Greenland (Picture: British Army).

"I want to say a special thank you to the Army AT Group, Team Army and all of my supporters," she said.

"I wouldn't have got this far without your support, and a huge thank you to the British Army; not just for their support for this expedition but throughout my career."

The launch of the expedition follows exciting personnel news for Capt Chandi after she got engaged earlier this week.

Her fiancée, David Jarman, is a reservist with the Honourable Artillery Company and will fly to Chile for Capt Chandi's return from the Antarctic.