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Polar Explorer Caroline Côté Reaches South Pole in 34 Days

January 12, 2023

The autonomous 1,130km trek breaks former record of 38 days

VANCOUVER, CANADA (January 2023) /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – With utmost excitement, 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.

Caroline 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. Very few people — less than 10 of which are women — have ever reached the South Pole in complete autonomy. Caroline’s record-breaking achievement places her squarely in this elite company.

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

Caroline’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 unfavorable to women.” Exploration has been male dominated, but Caroline 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.”

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.

Trusted by professionals to stay and feel alive, Helly Hansen supplied much of the apparel and gear that was essential for Caroline’s success on her journey. The award-winning Odin 9 Worlds Infinity Shell Jacket and the Odin Mountain Infinity 3L Bib Ski Pants that Caroline wore for the last 34 days straight are built for adventure and designed with protection, freedom of movement and breathability in mind. Both pieces are equipped with cutting edge LIFA INFINITY PRO™ 3-layer construction, built without added chemical treatments or solvents. The proprietary technology ensures everlasting waterproof protection that does not need to be reactivated or reproofed and each LIFA INFINITY PRO™ garment is solution-dyed, making them more responsible to produce.

“At Helly Hansen, Caroline truly inspires us and the work we do alongside our professionals,” says Sophie Boisvert, Helly Hansen Marketing Manager Canada. “After excitedly following her every step along the expedition, we are so thrilled for her accomplishment! What she was able to put her mind to and achieve is astounding. We hope she relishes every moment now and look forward to whatever her next adventure may be!”

“Yes, it’s a solo expedition,” says Caroline, “but, above all, it’s incredible teamwork. I could not have done this without the support of my sponsors, as well as my husband Vincent Colliard, who acted as polar logistics expert, and my weather expert Lars Ebbesen.”

A microsite featuring an interactive map with Caroline’s entire route and audio updates from her stops along the way is available for fans of this historic expedition and future explorers to enjoy.

Congratulations, Caroline, on achieving this momentous feat and making your dream a reality!

About POW Canada

Founded in Colorado in 2007 by the pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones, Protect Our Winters saw its expansion in Canada in 2018. POW Canada is a passionate community of outdoor enthusiasts, professional athletes and industry brands uniting to advocate for policy solutions to climate change. They believe our love of adventure in nature demands our participation in the fight to save and protect it.

POW Canada’s vision is for all communities and outdoor playgrounds to be healthy, safe, and resilient to a changing climate. They envision a future where we’ve transformed our economy and energy systems and cut our carbon emissions in-line with science-based targets the world agreed to in the Paris Climate Agreement.

To learn more about POW Canada or join their community, visit www.protectourwinters.ca.

About Helly Hansen

Founded in Norway in 1877, Helly Hansen continues to develop professional grade apparel that helps people stay and feel alive.  Through insights drawn from living and working in the world’s harshest environments, the company has developed a long list of first-to-market innovations, including the first supple waterproof fabrics more than 140 years ago. Other breakthroughs include the first fleece fabrics in the 1960s, the first technical base layers in the 1970s, made with LIFA® Stay Dry technology, the patented H2Flow™ temperature regulating system, and the revolutionary lighter, warmer LIFALOFT™ insulation. Building on Helly Hansen’s proprietary HELLY TECH® waterproof/breathable system, the technical outdoor brand has most recently introduced the award-winning LIFA INFINITY PRO™ – the company’s most innovative and responsible waterproof/breathable technology to date.

Helly Hansen is a leader in technical sailing and performance ski apparel, as well as premium workwear. Its uniforms are worn and trusted by more than 55,000 professionals and can be found on Olympians, National Teams, and at more than 200 ski resorts and mountain guiding operations globally.

Helly Hansen’s outerwear, base layers, sportswear and footwear are sold in more than 40 countries around the world and the company is owned by Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC). To learn more about Helly Hansen’s latest collections, visit www.hellyhansen.com.

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