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English Man on Track to Complete Solo Antarctica Trek

Louis Rudd, if successful, will be the second person to achieve the feat
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 27, 2018 2:57 PM CST
Colin O'Brady, of Portland., Ore., he poses for a photo while traveling across Antarctica on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. He has become the first person to traverse Antarctica alone without any assistance.   (Colin O'Brady via AP)

(Newser) – A British adventurer was close to becoming the second person to traverse Antarctica completely unassisted just a few days after an American became the first to conquer the feat, which was previously said to be impossible, the AP reports. Louis Rudd's expedition blog on Thursday showed that the 49-year-old has only has about 50 miles left on the journey across the continent and is expected to finish Saturday. If Rudd—a Hereford, England, resident and captain in the British Army—completes the journey, he'll become the second man to do so after Colin O'Brady of Portland, Ore., became the first on Wednesday. The more than 900-mile trek took O'Brady 54 days. O'Brady and Rudd were competing to become the first to travel across Antarctica without getting new supplies or help from the wind.

Rudd congratulated O'Brady on his blog late Wednesday. "Fantastic,” he wrote, “well done to him." Rudd wrote that he never felt like he was in a race and that "it's always been about completing the journey." It's been an emotional trek for Rudd, who decided to do the solo in honor of his close friend and fellow British explorer Henry Worsley, who died near the end of his attempt at an unassisted solo trek across Antarctica in 2016. Though others have traversed Antarctica, they either had assistance with reinforced supplies or kites that helped propel them forward. O'Brady plans to stay on Antarctica until Rudd finishes his trek, said O'Brady's wife, Jenna Besaw. "It's a small club," she joked. "His intention is to wait for Louis and have kind of a celebratory moment with the only other person on the planet to have accomplished this same thing."

(Read more antartica stories.)

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