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Miracle Escape: Colin O’Brady Crevasse Ordeal

by thesummiters.com
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Colin O’Brady shaken but grateful to be alive recounted a heart-stopping brush with mortality during the initial stretch of his expedition. A mere six kilometers into his journey an unforgiving crevasse threatened to become his icy tomb.

Miracle Escape: Colin O’Brady’s Crevasse Ordeal
Miracle Escape: Colin O’Brady’s Crevasse Ordeal

In a frank and emotional Instagram post O’Brady expressive described the heart-pounding moment when the ground gave way beneath him sending him sinking through a brittle snow bridge into a narrow meter-wide chasm in the ice. With sheer determination and a surge of survival instinct, he managed to wedge himself between the constricting walls, preventing a potentially fatal fall. Battling a rising tide of panic, he made a split-second decision to discard one of his skis, watching it disappear into the abyss below.

“The sound of it falling felt endless,” he recalled.

Summoning reserves of strength and courage, O’Brady clawed and heaved himself out of the crevasse, finding himself sprawled alone on the icy expanse, surrounded by an eerie solitude.

Thankfully, the weather offered a stroke of luck. Establishing his camp for shelter he awaited the arrival of the Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions safety team who raced to his aid on snowmobiles from Union Glacier camp. After a tense and daring negotiate one of the team members rappelled into the depths of the crevasse successfully retrieving O’Brady’s gear from a perilous 25 to 30-meter depth.

As they escorted him back to his starting point, O’Brady grappled with the weighty decision of whether to continue his perilous journey.

A rescue worker extracts O’Brady’s ski and pole from the crevasse. Photo: Colin O’Brady
A rescue worker extracts O’Brady’s ski and pole from the crevasse. Photo: Colin O’Brady

The Monumental Task Ahead

O’Brady had embarked on his Antarctic quest with an wise goal—to exceed Christian Eide’s 2011 speed record from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole. However Vincent Colliard of France had also set his sights on the same record this year. Five days into their respective expeditions Colliard had covered 164 kilometers trailing significantly behind Eide’s surprising pace of over 47 kilometers per day.

Eide’s extraordinary feat saw him traverse the 1,130 kilometers between Hercules Inlet and the South Pole in a breathtaking 24 days, 1 hour, and 13 minutes, setting a daunting standard for those aspiring to eclipse his achievement.

Challenges Amidst the Antarctic Wilderness

In a separate but equally formidable expedition, Sam Cox encountered a different hurdle. His attempt to ski of 2,000 kilometers from Berkner Island to the base of the Reedy Glacier via the South Pole was interrupted when he had to be evacuated, due to Diagnosis kidney stones. Cox’s unexpected setback highlighted the unpredictable and formidable challenges that these valiant explorers face in their relentless pursuit of exploration and adventure in the Antarctic expanse.

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