Adventurer Colin O'Brady on climbing world's seven summits, breaking two world records

- Colin O'Brady has had an incredible 2016 so far.

The adventurer became the fastest person to complete the Explorers Grand Slam, a mountaineering challenge in which he climbed the tallest peak on each of the seven continents AND skied the last degree to the North and South Poles in uninterrupted succession. 

The time to beat was 192 days. O'Brady set the new Explorers Grand Slam world record in just 139 days. 

He also broke another record for speed, summiting the highest peak on every continent in just 132 days - beating the previous record by two days. 

To put it into perspective, it usually takes most climbers about six days to climb Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro. It took him 12 hours.

While O'Brady is a natural born athlete, previously a  Division I swimmer at Yale University, he also had to endure incredible environmental challenges on the mountains. 

"It was pretty tough. We’re up against this record, trying to set two world records, and a massive snowstorm came in to Denali so we actually had to push in really bad conditions," He explained. "50 mile per hour winds, -60 degrees was the wind chill when I was pushing toward the summit, so I had to go in less than ideal conditions."

O'Brady also credits his insane feat to mental toughness.

After college, he was severely burned in a fire while traveling in Thailand, predominantly on his legs and feet. He was told he may never walk again and spent several months in the hospital. 

"Although that was a horrible thing to experience, overcoming that setback, going on to become a professional tri-athlete and now this, I can sort of draw on such a horrible experience that gives me the mental strength to keep going."

O’Brady is engaged to be married next spring to a woman he calls "his rock" behind the challenges.

"I was at base camp and I called my fiancé up and I said, "It just took me one hour to take my boots off.'"

Her response?

"Well I don’t care, if you’re going to set this record, you better get on a plane and fly to Alaska!"

In partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, he also hopes inspire kids and adults to maintain active lives with healthy eating habits. You can read more about that effort here.

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