After 5 years of planning, training and fundraising, the Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition, comprising of Henry Worsley, Will Gow and Henry Adams, arrived at Shackleton's Hut at Cape Royds.
They arrived at about 0300 hrs GMT on 13 Nov, having flown 9 hours in a Twin Otter from Patriot Hills. Below is a picture of the team at Patriot Hills, having arrived there from Chile in an Ilyushin (in the background), before flying on to Cape Royds.
We spent the last few days overhauling the sledges and equipment, and making sure that everything was sound and in its right place. In the evenings we wrote letters for those at home, to be delivered in the event of our not returning from the unknown regions into which we hoped to penetrate.
Events of the southern journey were recorded day by day in the diary I wrote during the long march.. I read this diary when we had got back to civilization, and arrived at the conclusion that to rewrite it would be to take away the special flavor which it possesses. It was written under conditions of much difficulty, and often of great stress, and these conditions I believe it reflects.
I am therefore publishing the diary with only such minor amendments in the phraseology as are necessary in order to make it easily understood. The reader will understand that when one is writing in a sleeping bag, with the temperature very low and food rather short, a good proportion of the "ofs," "ahds" and "thes" get left out. The story will probably seem bald, but it is at any rate a faithful record of what occurred. I will deal more fully with some aspects of the journey in a later chapter.
The altitudes given in the diary were calculated at the time, and were not always accurate. The corrected altitudes are given on the map and in a table at the end of the book. The distances were calculated by means of a sledge meter, checked by observations of the sun, and are approximately accurate.
Henry Worsley describes the elation at having finally reached Shackleton's Hut.
This is the story of the “Farthest South” expedition, told by its leader. After enduring biting winds, short rations and crevasse-ridden glaciers for over a year, Shackleton’s party faced a desperate forced march to return to their ship, The Nimrod, or face being marooned on the ice.
Taken from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s own compelling chronicle of his first Antarctic expedition, written on his return in 1909.
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