‘Nothing is impossible’: Soldier finishes epic 700-mile solo trek to the South Pole

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The jubilant 32-year-old physio – nicknamed Polar Preet – trekked 700 miles across the Antarctic wilderness and into history, skiing up to 11 hours a day in -50C temperatures and 70mph winds.

As she arrived at her destination in falling snow, she declared she never wanted to just break the glass ceiling, she wanted to “smash it into a million pieces”.

“Who’s with me?!” she beamed. “I’m feeling so many emotions right now. I knew nothing about the polar world three years ago and it feels so surreal to be here.

“It was tough and I want to thank everybody for their support.

“This expedition was always about so much more than me. I want to encourage people to push their boundaries, to believe in themselves – and to be able to do it without being labelled a rebel…we create our own normal.”

Earlier Harpreet, a British-born Indian Sikh from Derby, had more traditional matters on her mind.

Shortly before setting off on her expedition from Union Glacier on November 24, the endurance athlete got engaged to David Jarman, a reservist with the Honourable Artillery Company.

And as she began the last leg of the 40-day trip she devoted her final daily blog to… her wedding.

She wrote: “I read somewhere that when you ask people to be your bridesmaids it’s nice to do it in a special way.”

She then listed those she wanted to ask, adding: “I think at least three hen dos are required. That’s normal, right?”

David plans to meet Harpreet in Chile when she returns from the South Pole later this month.

She said the aim of her journey was to inspire future generations.

“There are only a few female adventurers that have completed a solo, unsupported trek on this continent. It is time to add some more names, diversity and to make history.

“Nothing is impossible. I’ve always had this idea that I can achieve something great, that allows me to be a role model. I want my eight-year-old niece to grow up without boundaries, knowing the possibilities of what you can achieve in life are endless.”

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A former international tennis junior, Harpreet joined the Army Reserves aged 19 and signed up with the regular Army five years ago, working as a Clinical Training Officer, helping to train military medics.

To prepare for her South Pole expedition, she headed off on a 27-day trip to the ice cap in Greenland – and dragged tyres around the streets of her home town.

But it was still tough going as she endured sickness and diarrhoea.

Throughout her trek she was inspired by listening to audio books by adventurer Ben Fogle and Bhangra music – which, she said, reminds her of her Punjabi roots.

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