33-Year-Old Adventurer Reaches Milestone in Mission to be First Person to Cross Antarctica Unaided

Colin O'Brady pictured on day 37 of his estimated 65-day-long odyssey across the Antarctic. (Colin O'Brady, Instagram)
Colin O’Brady pictured on day 37 of his estimated 65-day-long odyssey across the Antarctic. (Colin O’Brady, Instagram)

Colin O’Brady has just achieved something incredible. He has become the 29th person ever to ski from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole.

The 33-year-old American completed the mammoth expedition from the western edge of the frozen land mass to the earth’s southern-most point solo, unaided and unsupported in just 40 days. He is the third person ever to follow his specific route.

O’Brady shared his achievement Thursday via his Instagram account, which he has been regularly updating via a satellite phone to document his mission.

“SOUTH POLE!!! I made it!!! What a day. I expected to be happy reaching the South Pole, but today has quite honestly been one of the best days of my entire life,” he wrote.

But O’Brady didn’t stop long to celebrate. After “soaking in the moment” and taking a few photographs, he carried on his way.

He is just halfway through his mission to become the first person ever to cross the Antarctic coast-to-coast unaided. Several others have died making the attempt.

It’s a challenge O’Brady has been working toward for several years after turning to extreme sports to recover from a freak accident which left his legs so severely burned that doctors questioned whether he would ever walk normally again.

The ex-financier quit his job in 2008 to pursue sports full-time, reaching Olympic triathlon level and breaking the “Seven Summits” world record. But this is his toughest challenge to date.

O’Brady, who calls his mission “The Impossible First,” set out on Nov. 3 and will continue on until he reaches the opposite coast. The full expedition is set to take up to 65 days.

The journey requires courage, stamina and sheer determination. CNBC Make It took a look at how he is keeping himself motivated on this most challenging of missions and how those steps can be applied to other — less frosty — walks of life.

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SOURCE: Karen Gilchrist