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An noted adventurer describes his ninety-seven-day, two-man, unsupported journey across the icy wilderness of Antarctica, offering a vivid narrative of the physical and mental challenges of the epic journey. Tour.
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``The world's greatest explorer'' bruises his way across Antarctica on foot, and without any external support, thank you very much. Fiennes (The Feather Men, 1993) is well-known in polar circles for having made numerous firsts: Pole-to-Pole circumnavigation, trans-Antarctic crossing, unsupported journey to the South Pole. Here he recounts, in his rather swaggerish, old-boy style, his tramp with Mike Stroud (see Mike Stroud, Shadows on the Wasteland, below) across the southernmost continent, dragging all they would need behind them in sleds (a mere 500 pounds when full) for 1,350 miles. The trip would be another first--if they survived. This was a long, mean trek across a brutal landscape only too happy to seal their doom, if not from a fall down a crevasse, then by the sheer wasting of their bodies. There are the obligatory horrifying descriptions of body rot (he refers to his hands as ``senseless lumps of bloodless meat'' and his nose as a suppurating pineapple) and some fine description of the terrain and strange weather phenomena, and the narrative is laced with excerpts from the diaries of explorers who went before them. Fiennes comes across as a bit of a bully (he does a very neat and quiet job of making Stroud out to be a weenie), prone to God-and-country bluster, but for all his ramrod-straight comportment, he does have a sense of humor, tongue often firmly in cheek--it's probably frozen there. Therein lies the success of his story: a desperate, thrilling adventure told with enough drollery to make it believable, and the haughty Fiennes a mere mortal. And bully for them--they made it. A cracking account of one hazardous march, in the classic stiff-lipped style. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Not content with his record-setting exploits of polar travel--including the first Pole to Pole circumnavigation (1979-1982)--Fiennes set out from Chile in November 1992 to make an unsupported crossing of Antarctica. His companion was Mike Stroud, who would record physiological data. Each man pulled a 485-pound sledge containing all the supplies they would require for their 1500-mile journey, much of it at altitudes above 10,000 feet. By the time they reached the South Pole in mid-January, they had each lost 25% of their body weight. Stroud was vulnerable to hypothermia, and both men were suffering from frostbite and wind- and sunburn. On Day 83, now on half rations, they faced a 9000-foot descent on ice and in gale-force winds; next they traversed dangerous crevasse fields. On Day 95--February 12, 1993--having reached the Ross Ice Shelf, they summoned a plane. This epic journey tested both body and mind. With a foreword by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, Fiennes ( To the Ends of the Earth ) offers another gripping account of endurance and adventure.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Chivers North Amer, 1994. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0745143601
Book Description Chivers Audio Books, 1994. Audio Cassette. Condition: Brand New. 9.25x6.50x1.00 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # 0745143601