Longest solo unsupported one-way polar ski journey (female)
Who
Preet Chandi
What
1,484.53 kilometre(s)
Where
Antarctica ()
When

The longest solo unsupported one-way polar ski journey by a female (and overall) is 1,484.53 kilometres (922.44 miles) by Preet Chandi (UK, aka "Polar Preet"), who travelled across Antarctica from the Hercules Inlet to the Reedy Glacier over 70 days 16 hours between 13 November 2022 and 23 January 2023. Chandi was seeking to become the first woman to ski across the Antarctic continent from coast to coast, but due to bad weather had to end the journey about 160 kilometres (100 miles) inland.


Chandi is the first woman to ski solo to the South Pole twice, having first trekked there between 21 November 2021 and 3 January 2022. With Indian heritage, she is also the first Asian woman to complete a solo ski expedition to the South Pole.

Her time of 40 days 7 hours 3 minutes skiing from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole in 2021–22 makes Preet the third-fastest woman overall to ski solo to the South Pole. The record remains with Johanna Davidsson (Sweden) who skied from the Hercules Inlet to the geographic South Pole in 38 days 23 hours 5 minutes between 15 November and 24 December 2016, without using kites and without resupplies. In second place is British polar explorer Hannah McKeand, who logged a time of 39 days 9 hours 33 minutes in 2006.

A physiotherapist in the British Army, Captain Chandi said after her latest expedition: "Mentally, it was tough knowing I didn't have enough time to make the crossing, but the expedition was about pushing my boundaries and inspiring others to do the same, so how could I not continue? I'm disappointed I ran out of time to make the crossing of Antarctica, but I did everything I could. I didn't take a day off and pushed as hard as possible every day."

As well as bettering the previous female distance record, 1,381 km (858 mi) covered by Anja Blacha (Germany) between north Berkner Island and arriving at the South Pole on 9 January 2020, Chandi also surpassed the previous male record. Henry Worsley (UK, 1960–2016) skied 1,459 km (906.5 mi) in Antarctica between 13 November 2015 and 22 January 2016. He started at the south end of Berkner Island with the intention of reaching the Ross Ice Shelf on the opposite coast in about 80 days. However, exhaustion forced him to stop on day 70 when nearing the top of the Shackleton Glacier, approximately 202 km (126 mi) from his intended end point. Sadly, he had to be medevaced to a hospital in Punta Arenas in Chile and he passed away due to organ failure on 24 January 2016.

Both Worsley and Chandi's expeditions differ slightly from that of Norway's Aleksander Gamme, who skied solo for a greater distance of 2,260 km (1,404 mi) across Antarctica between 29 October 2011 and 26 January 2012. Depositing caches of food/equipment en route, he set off from Hercules Inlet, arriving at the South Pole on 24 December 2011 before returning on 23 January 2012 to 1 km (0.6 mi) from his original start point, where he waited until 26 January to cross the finish line with two other skiers (Australians James Castrission and Justin Jones), who had travelled a similar route together. The key difference is that as Worsley and Chandi were attempting coast-to-coast crossings, they carried all of their belongings for the entirety of the journey, whereas because Gamme knew he would be heading back on the same route, he was able to strategically offload provisions and gear as he went that he could collect on the return leg.