Day 40

Daily Distance:
Total Distance:
84° 53' / 165° 15'

Read the Journal Entry for Day 40

Shackleton Centenary Expedition

Latest Expedition Update:

Day 42 - Christmas Day, 25 December Distance travelled: 489.8 nmi Temperature: -20 °C Conditions: Overcast. Read Journal Entry
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Day 40 December 23, 2008

15.4 nm achieved today on a flat plain with a gentle rise - a fantastic result, and a fantastic day.

Tomorrow the team will make their way through the Shackleton Ice Falls, the final act on the Beardmore and then on to the Polar plateau. Henry Adams says that the challenges they faced over the last few days were the sort that they came here to encounter and in hindsight woulnd'nt have had it any other way.

Henry dedicates todays message to one of our Gold Sponsors, Sheffield Haworth.


1. Sitrep No 40 as at 0904 hrs GMT 23 Dec 08

2. Distance Covered Today : 15.4 nm

3. Total Distance Covered : 476.5 nm

4. Hours travelled: 7

5. Daily Average to Date: 11.91 nm

6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 18

7. Distance to RV: 217.29 nm

8. Distance to Pole: 314.29 nm

9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 12.07 nm

For a detailed map of the Beardmore Glacier, and the team's progress on it click here.

December 23rd, 1908

Eight thousand eight hundred and twenty feet up, and still steering upward amid great waves of pressure and ice falls, for our plateau, after a good morning's march, began to rise in higher ridges, so that it really was not the plateau after all. Today's crevasses have been far more dangerous than any others we have crossed, as the soft snow hides all trace of them until we fall through. Constantly today one or another of the party has had to be hauled out from a chasm by means of his harness, which had alone saved him from death in the icy vault below.

We started at 6:40 A.M. and worked on steadily until 6 P.M., with the usual lunch hour in the middle of the day. The pony maize does not swell in the water now, as the temperature is very low and the water freezes. The result is that it swells inside after we have eaten it. We are very hungry indeed, and talk a great deal of what we would like to eat. In spite of the crevasses, we have done thirteen miles today to the south, and we are now in latitude 85° 41' South. The temperature at noon was plus 6°F and at 6 P.M. it was minus 1°F, but it is much lower at night. There was a strong southeast to south southeast wind blowing all day, and it was cutting to our noses and burst lips. Wild was frostbitten. I do trust that tomorrow will see the end of this bad traveling, so that we can stretch out our legs for the Pole.

Day 40 Report

  1. Day 40 Report
  2. Day 40 Sitrep

Day 40: Overview

Distance covered:
15.4 nm
12 mph
Clear sky, bright sunshine, no clouds,

The Heart of the Antarctic

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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"Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all." - EHS 1909

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