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Montreal explorer sets new speed record with epic Antarctica adventure

Montreal adventurer extraordinaire Caroline Côté, endurance athlete and polar explorer, has reached the South Pole in amazing world record time of 34 days 2 hours and 53 mins, after setting off from the Hercules Inlet on December 9, 2022.

Côté is now the fastest woman on Earth, beating the previous record of 38 days and 23 hours by Johanna Davidsson, to make the autonomous 1130 km trek on skis across Antarctica, dragging all her gear and supplies behind her in a sled. Just reaching the South Pole in complete autonomy is a feat accomplished by very few people.

“The last 14 kilometres were really difficult. The elevation of the South Pole is more than 2800 metres, so you can really feel the effects of oxygen depletion. I had difficulty breathing and to keep going,” says Côté.

Montreal adventurer extraordinaire Caroline Côté, endurance athlete and polar explorer, has reached the South Pole in amazing world record time of 34 days 2 hours and 53 mins, after setting off from the Hercules Inlet on December 9, 2022.

Côté’s mission was to take on “one of the most inaccessible places in the world, paving the way for future women adventurers,” breaking down “stereotypes that are unfavourable to women.” Exploration has been male dominated, but Côté hopes her expedition can inspire more women and young girls to go beyond their limits to achieve extraordinary things.

Caroline was welcomed to the Amundsen-Scott base by British explorer Hannah MacKeand, the first holder of this record, and now head of the American scientific base. “Hannah was kind enough to wake up for my arrival: it was 4am local time!” says 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.”

Caroline was welcomed to the Amundsen-Scott base by British explorer Hannah MacKeand, the first holder
of this record, and now head of the American scientific base.

“Hannah was kind enough to wake up for my arrival: it was 4am local time!” says Côté. “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 record-breaking expedition was made possible in partnership with Protect Our Winters Canada,
highlighting the effects of climate change already evident in Antarctica, and Helly Hansen, which supplied Côté with the apparel and gear needed for her adventure.

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