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As Apsley Cherry-Garrard states in his introduction to the harrowing story of the Scott expedition to the South Pole, "Polar Exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised." Cherry-Garrard's The Worst Journey in the World
is a gripping account of an expedition gone disastrously wrong. The youngest member of Scott's team, the author was later part of the rescue party that eventually found the frozen bodies of Scott and three men who had accompanied Scott on the final push to the Pole. These deaths would haunt Cherry-Garrard for the rest of his life as he questioned the decisions he had made and the actions he had taken in the days leading up to the Polar Party's demise.
Prior to this sad denouement, Cherry-Garrard's account is filled with details of scientific discovery and anecdotes of human resilience in a harsh environment. Each participant in the Scott expedition is brought fully to life. Cherry-Garrard's recollections are supported by diary excerpts and accounts from other teammates. Despite the sad fate of Scott, the reader will grudgingly agree with the closing words of The Worst Journey in the World: "Exploration is the physical expression of the Intellectual Passion. And I tell you, if you have the desire for knowledge and the power to give it physical expression, go out and explore.... If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."
"Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time that has ever been devised" wrote Apsley Cherry-Garrard in a deceptively jaunty introduction to this classic story of bravery and fortitude first published in 1922. The story he relates is of Scott's last expedition to the Antarctic. From its departure from England in 1910 to its arrival in New Zealand in 1913, it is one of the most famous and tragic in the annals of exploration. Driven by an obsession for scientific knowledge, these brave polar explorers embarked on a journey into the unknown, testing their endurance by pushing themselves to the ultimate physical and mental limits as they surveyed the striking and mammoth land that lay far to the south.
Cherry-Garrard was himself a member of the expedition that had two goals: to discover as much as was scientifically possible about the terrain and habitat of Antarctica, and to be the first to reach the South Pole. The party was plagued by bad luck, weather conditions of unanticipated ferocity, and the physical deterioration of the party on the last part of the journey. Confronted by the shattering knowledge that Roald Amundsen had reached the South Pole a month before them, Scott's party then had to negotiate the last, heroic part of their journey, a doomed attempt which has entered modern mythology.
The Worst Journey in the World is the inside story of this most famous of journeys and is truly one of the best and most moving books of travel ever written. Join Scott's expedition as he and his team venture deep into the frozen unknown. This volume is the second in the continuing series of Explorers Club Classic books.
From the Back Cover