Alone for Christmas... in Antarctica

Quebec adventurer Caroline Côté will have a very special Christmas as she continues her quest alone towards the South Pole.

Alone for Christmas... in Antarctica

Quebec adventurer Caroline Côté will have a very special Christmas as she continues her quest alone towards the South Pole.

If the current storm that is hitting Quebec is bothering more than one this holiday season, the 36-year-old Montrealer knew very well that she was imposing spectacular winter conditions by attacking Antarctica.

“Being alone is difficult, more than I imagined,” she said, however, via a text message sent by satellite, earlier this week. The terrain is difficult. I'm learning to stay calm in a storm even though sometimes I'm scared. »

Having started her expedition two weeks ago, on December 9, Côté not only wants to reach the South Pole, but she wants to get there in less than 35 days. Thus, it would smash the record of 38 days and 23 hours belonging, since 2016, to the Swedish Johanna Davidson.

additional motivation

If the Quebecer is alone to achieve this, her spouse Vincent Colliard, who also bears the title of technical director, stands back in Punta Arenas, Chile. This is a city located in the Patagonia region.

“I myself will be a guide for a group in Antarctica, from December 29 until January, and there is a possibility that we will end up at the South Pole at the end of our adventure, mentioned Colliard, joined to the phone. Hoping it gives him extra motivation to keep going and keep up the pace. »

Obviously, communications are difficult with Côté from Antarctica.

"It's a race during which I have to find energy from one day to the next, transmitted the one who previously distinguished herself as an ultramarathoner. It is windy and there is a lot of snow, which makes my progress difficult. »

Briton gives up

Proof of the challenge taken up by the Quebecer, there is the Briton Wendy Searle who was forced to retire in the last few days while she was trying, in parallel, to beat the same speed record to reach the South Pole by a single woman. The latter testified that a combination of factors made breaking the record unthinkable.

Through the “sastrugi”, these large strips of snow formed by the wind, Côté nevertheless continued its 1,150 kilometer route. Mostly skiing, while pulling her big sled behind her. She could become the first Quebecer to reach the South Pole solo, and only the second Canadian after Ontarian Meagan McGrath.

In order to prepare for Antarctica, Côté had taken part, as a guide, in an expedition to Greenland in the fall.

“It is incomparable, it is very cold in Antarctica, she decided. For comparison, you could say that it was hot in Greenland. »

Understand its purpose

The Quebecer, who is also a filmmaker, obviously takes pictures of her adventure which should continue until the second week of January.

To understand why Côté accomplished this feat rather than enjoying Christmas Eve with turkey, meat pie and meatball stew, you have to refer to a particular quote on his website.

“Through those moments of doubt that we all experience at one time or another in our lives, we become authentic and transparent with ourselves. Because when we overcome certain challenges during an adventure, we are not only grappling with snow, rock, wind, storm or crevices in our path, but also with ourselves and with our fragility. human,” writes Caroline Côté.

“By filming and producing documentaries, I come to better understand my essence, my reason for being,” she adds. All that remains is to wish him a “Merry Christmas”!