At the Edge of the World: A Story of One Man Who Conquered Antarctica

2022-05-02 Stories

This article was originally published on our site: sportoport.com

Exactly one hundred years after the famous attempt of Ernest Shackleton to cross the continent of Antarctica during his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, another hero set on the same path of dread and glory.

Inspired by the legendary adventure at the South Pole, Henry Worsley developed an insatiable desire to go where very little men have ever gone and do what no one has ever done before – cross Antarctica by foot, alone, surrounded only by snow and ‘the White Darkness.’

The Heart of the Antarctic

For Henry Worsley it all began in high school when he was just thirteen years old. He laid his hands on a fascinating memoir, written by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, which described all the hardships and wonders of his Nіmrod expedition.

While reading ‘The Heart of the Antarctic’, he marvelled at the photos of the crew, who shared the space at the cramped shed, packed with foods and canned provisions, and the bewildering shots of Shackleton himself, walking through the deathly white landscape with a broad smile on his face.

Mesmerised by this outstanding adventure, Henry secretly swore to himself that one day he would embark on a journey just as spectacular.

In Shackleton’s Footsteps

He didn’t become a polar explorer at once, though. In 1978, Henry’s parents persuaded him to join the Army, which he did, giving up on his dream to venture into the white snow-ridden wilderness of the South Pole, but not for long.

Becoming a second lieutenant certainly wasn’t a dream come true for young Henry Worsley, but in a way it made him come back to the mind-bending adventures of Ernest Shackleton - an exemplary leader, who saved his crew-mates on more than one occasion.

Most of his expeditions weren’t successful, but reading the accounts of his adventures was like reading a well-written thriller with a charismatic main hero. Henry Worsley was even more surprised to find out that his ancestor, Frank Worsley, crossed paths with Ernest Shackleton, sharing with him one of the biggest adventures a world has ever seen.

The Discovery Expedition

It all started in 1901, when Ernest Shackleton joined the crew of Robert Falcon Scott on an expedition to the South Pole, a place no man has ever gone before.

Scott, a bossy officer of the British Navy, Shackleton, an experienced adventurer, and Edward Wilson, a seasoned explorer  embarked on a journey that should have brought them fame and world recognition, and just two months later they had to turn back before reaching the South Pole.

All men were in bad shape, and Shackleton was barely alive himself when they reached the ship.  During the Discovery expedition Scott and his crew reached a point that was 530 miles from the South Pole – still a long way to go!