Endurance athlete and explorer Caroline Côté has completed a solo ski-powered mission to the South Pole in a world-record time of 34 days, 2 hours and 53 minutes.
Starting from the Hercules Inlet on December 9 and covering 1130 kilometres, Caroline overtook the previous unsupported female ski record of 38 days and 23 hours (by Swedish nurse and adventurer Johanna Davidsson). Very few people—less than 10 of whom are women—have ever reached the South Pole autonomously, hauling all supplies and gear in a sled.
“The last 14 kilometres were really difficult. The elevation of the South Pole is more than 2800 meters, so you can really feel the effects of oxygen depletion. I had difficulty breathing and to keep going,” said Caroline.
Her mission was to take on “one of the most inaccessible places in the world, paving the way for future women adventurers.” Exploration has been male-dominated, but Caroline hopes her expedition can inspire more women and young girls to achieve extraordinary things.
British explorer Hannah McKeand, the first holder of the world record, welcomed Caroline to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. “Hannah was kind enough to wake up for my arrival: it was 4am local time!” said Caroline. “It is women like her and Johanna Davidsson who opened my eyes to what it could be like to make this journey, and also gave me the desire to help other girls, one day, to do it too.”
This expedition was made possible in partnership with Protect Our Winters Canada— highlighting the effects of climate change already evident in Antarctica—and Helly Hansen.
“Yes, it’s a solo expedition,” added Caroline, “but, above all, it’s incredible teamwork. I could not have done this without the support of my sponsors, as well as my husband Vincent Colliard, who acted as polar logistics expert, and my weather expert Lars Ebbesen.”
A microsite featuring an interactive map with Caroline’s route and audio updates from her stops along the way is available for fans of this historic expedition and future explorers to take inspiration from.
Caroline wore Helly Hansen’s Odin 9 Worlds Infinity Shell Jacket and the Odin Mountain Infinity 3L Bib Ski Pants for 34 days straight. These garments are built for adventure and designed with protection, freedom of movement and breathability in mind. Both pieces are equipped with LIFA INFINITY PRO™ 3-layer construction, built without added chemical treatments or solvents. The proprietary technology ensures everlasting waterproof protection that does not need to be reactivated or reproofed.
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