Carmichael, co-owner of La Colombe coffee company, finished the journey from the edge of Antarctica to the bottom of the world Sunday, according to Explorersweb.com. He made the 700-mile trek in 39 days, 7 hours and 49 minutes, shaving an hour and 44 minutes off the old record, set in 2006 by Briton Hannah McKeand.
In addition to being the fastest to make the trip, Carmichael is also the first American to do it solo, as well as the oldest. Along the way, Carmichael dragged a 250-pound sled to elevations as high as 10,000 feet.
"I can only imagine how depleted he is, but from his voice on the phone, you'd never know it," Carmichael's wife, Lauren Hart, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "He thought he could do it, but deep down, when you get down into that kind of situation, I think that he must have been thinking a few times, 'What am I doing here?'"
Wayne Moore, a physician's assistant working at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, posted an update to SubZeroSolo.com, Carmichael's Web site: "To all his very concerned friends and family, he has made a rapid recovery from the trip and has become a local hero at the station."