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TSE  June 2001

TSE June 2001

Subject:

Off-topic - Shackleton

From:

"Rickard Parker" <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 21 Jun 2001 21:24:48 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (121 lines)

It's been quiet lately, hasn't it.  Well I've decided to put together a
sort of off-topic post.  Last night I went to an Imax (70 mm) film
called "Shackleton's Antartic Adventure," a documentary on the
expedition mentioned by TSE in TWL.  I've posted links on this before
because I've been fascinated by the expedition since reading Alfred
Lansing's book "Endurance" when I was a kid.

The short story is that Shackleton's ship got caught in ice and drifted
for months until the ship was crushed.  For months more the crew camped
on ice until the floes broke up and then they rowed for about a week to
an island.  Shakleton and the ship's captain and some crew then sailed a
lifeboat for about 2 weeks and 800 miles to South Georgia Island.
Shackleton and two others then had to cross the mountainous island.  The
film shows three famous (and fit) mountaineers doing the same thing with
modern equipment.  They took 3 days.  Shackleton did it in 36 hours.

The movie was about 45 minutes long.  I highly recommend it.  It showed
motion and still pictures taken during the expedition and some
recreations.  Also many shots of icebergs and some of penguins (what can
you expect?)

Anyway, without further ado I present a series of quotes and URLs.

Regards,
   Rick Parker

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eliot's note to line 360 of TWL

The following lines were stimulated by the account of one of the
Antarctic expeditions (I forget which, but I think one of Shackleton's):
it was related that the party of explorers, at the extremity of their
strength, had the constant delusion that there was one more member than
could actually be counted.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

   Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922)
   South
   Originally published 1919, William Heinemann, London
   Reprinted 1998, The Lyons Press, New York, ISBN 1-55821-78

   The last paragraph of the chapter entitled "Across South Georgia"

     When I look back at those days I have no doubt that Providence
     guided us, not only across those snowfields, but across the
     storm-white sea that seperated Elephant Island from our
     landing-place on South Georgia. I know that during that long and
     racking march of thirty-six hours over the unnamed mountains and
     glaciers of South Georgia it seemed to me often that we were four,
     not three. I said nothing to my companions on the point, but
     afterwards Worsley said to me, "Boss, I had a curious feeling on
     the march that there was another person with us." Crean confessed
     to the same idea. One feels "the dearth of human words, the
     roughness of mortal speech" in trying to describe things
     intangible, but a record of our journeys would be incomplete
     without a reference to a subject very near to our hearts.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

A paragraph from a page put up by the Nova TV series about Mt. Everest
assaults: Besides remarking on delusions of having others with the
mountaineers it mentions two of them by name (Messner and Venables).

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/everest/expeditions/96/week3/assault/assault4.h
tml

Hallucinations nonetheless are a regularly experienced phenomenon at
high altitudes. Frank Smythe in 1933 saw strange 'flying objects' above
the North Ridge which his friends jocularly called "Frank's pulsating
teapots". Reinhold Messner, when he climbed the mountain without oxygen,
felt he was reduced to a single gasping lung: "I am nothing more than a
single narrow gasping lung, floating over the mists and the summits."
His companion Peter Habler also had an "out of body" experience,
floating above his own shoulder as he watched himself climbing the upper
slopes. The illusion of an extra partner is common under the physical
stresses of high altitude climbing. Brummie Stokes and Bronco Lane,
coming down from the summit, each felt there was a third person on their
rope, and when they brewed tea or shared food they offered some to their
unseen companion. Chris Bonington in 1985 was helped to the summit by
the sense that his father-in-law was steering one arm and his friend
Dough Scott the other. Stephen Venables was encouraged to find himself
in a comfortable country pub with a long-haired girl beside him.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

The three mountaineers that crossed South Georgia are:

Reinhold Messner
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/everest/history/firstwoo2.html

Stephen Venables
http://www.pgw.com/catalog/Fall2000/APG/1560252898.html

Conrad Anker
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/everest/lost/search/day.html

Both Messner and Venables have climbed Everest without supplemental
oxygen.  Anker was the one who found Mallory's body on Everest.
Messner is famous in Europe but not so well known in the U.S.
(but my wife did keep a pinup of him in her studio.)

-----------------------------------------------------------------

What these mountaineers had to say about Shackleton's trip over the
mountains and glaciers of South Georgia and his marooning in Antartica
(they were in awe):

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/shackleton/dispatches/


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Finally, a web site map for the movie, "Shackleton's Antartic Adventure."
There are many pages here.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/shackleton/textindex.html


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