As you might have noticed - our interactive map has been moved.
We wanted to show you that our focus has changed from the Expedition to the Foundation. If you're looking for the map, and want to listen to those daily broadcasts from Antarctica click here
Every evening whilst the guys were out on the ice, they would read part of Shackleton's 'The Heart of the Antarctic' - his account of the Nimrod Expedition. Doing so, the guys were able to get a much fuller picture of what was involved, and what the original team members went through.
Will: "We found it very interesting - we got a real feel for what they went through on a daily basis and were left overwhelmed by their extraordinary courage - doing what no one had done before, and going to places that hadn't been seen before, makes it all the more important that we finish what they started."
Food glorious food. Out on the ice for 17 days, the guys were able to give the once over on their rations - to see what was tasty and what was nasty. Because of the monotonous nature of skiing day after day, food can play a vital role in mixing things up a bit and relieving the boredom.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner went something like this:
Breakfast: porridge (dehydrated + water), hot chocolate
Lunch : 3 x Cadburys chocolate bars, 2 x Pepperami, 1x Flapjack, 1 x 50g Bag mixed nuts, 2 Orange fuel drinks
Evening : 1 main meal (700 cals), 1 pudding (500 cals) - usually rice puddig with fruit pieces, hot chocolate.
In total the guys were expending around 6,000 cals a day and taking on 5,500 cals, with no pemmican in sight.
Over the next two weeks we'll be looking to bring you a few updates on what went on in Greenland.
First, here's a brief explanation of where the guys went and why they went there.
Why Milne Land?
The guys went to Milne Land, Greenland in an effort to recreate some of the conditions that they will be facing in Antarctica. Greenland itself is a huge open wilderness with easy access to sea ice and glaciers. It's reasonably accessible and none of the team had been before.
Where's Milne Land?
In Northeast Greenland, it is 70 degrees North - 500 miles into the Arctic Circle. Milne Land itself is an island approximately 60 miles x 40 miles in the middle of Scoresby Sound, the longest Fjord in the world. To get there, you need to cross frozen sea ice.
According to Will, they were incredibly lucky with the weather, there was also virtually 24 hour light when they were there - it was getting lighter by 15 minutes every day.
This was the base for the guys training. The glacier itself bisects Milne Land, with feeder valleys feeding ice into the Korridorean Glacier it provided great practice for the Beardmore Glacier in Antarctica.
The Antarctic journey will be 350 miles or so of sea ice, then 100 miles up the Beardmore Glacier to 9,500 ft or so before the final push up to the Pole itself on 450 miles or so of ice cap ice. The snow conditions will be quite varied in each of these places, requiring different skiing techniques and approaches: when the snow is deep and powdery, progress is slower.
In Greenland, the team in effect did this journey back-to-front, they travelled across the ice cap acclimatising for a few days before travelling through crevasse fields heading out towards the sea ice. Turning back, they then went back up the Korridorean Glacier in effect, re-creating part of their trek across the Beardmore.
We were astonished to come across the Teaching Expertise website recently, suggesting an assembly plan for primary school teachers based on our own story, following in the footsteps of Shackleton.
"Shackleton decided that he wanted to put the safety of his men ahead of his own personal fame and fortune. It was the right decision to make... Shackleton was a great leader: with that came great responsibility for the men who trusted him and followed him."
We couldn't agree more, and our thanks go out to Jane West who compiled the assembly plan - now a new generation of children will learn all about Sir Ernest Shackleton and the difficult decisions that leaders have to make.
In late 1999/ early 2000 White Mountain Films and NOVA/WGBH Boston co-produced Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure, an IMAX film re-enacting Shackleton's legendary 1914-1916 Expedition to the South Pole. We loved the film when it came out, and have recently been looking again at the film's website.
One of the key sections for us is the part analysing Shackleton's leadership role.
The website highlights the book, Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition, in it, Dennis Perkins outlines 10 leadership strategies that can be learned from Sir Ernest Shackleton's leadership example.
1. Never lose sight of the ultimate goal, and focus energy on short-term objectives.
2. Set a personal example with visible, memorable symbols and behaviors.
3. Instill optimism and self-confidence, but stay grounded in reality.
4. Take care of yourself: Maintain your stamina and let go of guilt.
5. Reinforce the team message constantly: "We are one--we live or die together."
6. Minimize status differences and insist on courtesy and mutual respect.
7. Master conflict--deal with anger in small doses, engage dissidents, and avoid needless power struggles.
8. Find something to celebrate and something to laugh about.
9. Be willing to take the Big Risk.
10. Never give up--there's always another move.
In a fascinating interview Mr Perkins says that Exceptional leaders inspire a level of teamwork that can mean the difference between success and failure in the most demanding environments. We agree completely.
Click the following link Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure to find out more about the film and to learn more about Shackleton's leadership role.
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