Army Officer to go on 700-mile Solo Journey to South Pole

Army officer Harpreet Chandi is aiming to complete the 700-mile trek for a solo expedition to the South Pole in 2021.

Army Officer to go on 700-mile Solo Journey to South Pole f

"that is what inspired me to go there."

A 32-year-old army officer is on a mission to become the first Indian-origin woman to complete a solo, unsupported trek to the South Pole.

Captain Harpreet Chandi is in the final phase of her rigorous training ahead of the 45-day challenge.

She will be flying to Chile on November 14, 2021, to begin her adventure.

Self-titled ‘Polar Preet’ will then embark on a 700-mile journey, battling temperatures of -50°C and wind speeds of up to 60mph.

At the same time, she will pull a sled whilst carrying all her equipment.

Captain Chandi has been preparing for two years and it included various extensive training exercises such as dragging tyres to simulate pulling a 90kg sled.

Earlier in 2021, Captain Chandi went to Greenland for a 27-day expedition encountering gruelling weather conditions.

Captain Chandi joined the UK Army in 2008 and has served for 13 years, including supporting the UK’s Covid-19 vaccination efforts.

She is also completing her Masters’ degree in sports and exercise medicine, part-time, at Queen Mary University of London.

On the expedition to the South Pole, Captain Chandi said:

“Antarctica is the coldest, highest, driest and windiest continent on earth. Nobody lives there permanently.

“I didn’t know much about the continent when I first started planning and that is what inspired me to go there.

“Hopefully doing something that pushes me so far out of my comfort zone will inspire others to believe in themselves and push their boundaries.

“There are only a few female adventurers that have completed a solo, unsupported trek on this continent.

“It is time to add some more names, diversity and to make history.”

Defence Minister Leo Docherty said:

“People are Defence’s best asset and Preet’s determination and drive to complete this momentous challenge is a true testament to that.

“The physical and mental resilience shown during her preparations is something we can all learn from.”

“Preet shows that people from all backgrounds can achieve incredible things through a career in the Armed Forces.

“We all wish Preet the very best of luck and will be eagerly following her progress.”

Brigadier Lizzie Faithfull-Davies CBE, Commander 102 Logistics Brigade said:

“It is genuinely inspiring to watch Captain Harpreet Chandi’s polar ambition turn into reality and every aspect of her preparation demonstrates the values and standards that are so important to the British Army.

“We are delighted to have such a talented and determined officer in 102 Logistic Brigade who can set such a great example to all our people about how to turn a dream into reality.

“We will all be avidly watching and supporting her endeavours from afar and, from the whole brigade, we wish Polar Preet the very best for her expedition.”

Captain Chandi added: “There is so much to prepare for an expedition like this and I’m really proud to be representing the Army.

“As I started to train for it, I learned more about it and it just shows the more you do, the more you realise you’re capable of.

“So, wherever you’re from, whatever experience you’ve got, if you want to go out and do something different, take that first step and go for it.”

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”