Outdoor Literature (PE 4440)


Lecture Notes






Shackleton Reading - the Anthology of the Outdoor Experience

Your Assignment:   Read Ernest Shackleton in the Anthology (pp. 119-133)


Ernest Shackleton (British) Missionary Generation (1874 – 1922)


Shackleton's previous expeditions:

Our reading comes from Shackleton's third expedition which he undertook in 1914.  By this time, the South Pole had been reached.  No one, however, had crossed the Antarctic continent, and Shackleton's plan is do just that, passing through the South Pole on the way.


The journey was to begin on the Weddell Sea side of the continent as shown below:


Shackleton's Proposed Route Across Antarctica




But while sailing south, Shackleton's ship (the Endurance) becomes trapped in the ice:


Shackleton's Ship is Trapped - Map



In late 1915, the ship is crushed by the ice . . .


Shackleton's Ship the Enduranced is Crushed - Map



After the ship is crushed, the party drifts in a northerly direction on an ice floe.  The floe slowly melts . . .


Shackleton's Party Adrift on an Ice Floe



Among the supplies salvaged from the ship before it was destroyed are three life boats.  Shackleton waits as long as possible as the floe dwindles and then launches the boats.  After a marathon effort of rowing, and five days at sea, they reach Elephant Island . . .


Shackleton's Party Reaches Elephant Island - Map



They aren't safe yet.  While the main party hunkers down on Elephant Island, Shackleton and five other men launch one of the life boats and sail north into the Southern Ocean in a desperate attempt to reach South Georgia Island, 800 miles away . . .


Shackleton Leaves Elephant Island - Map



Our reading is from a biography by the British polar writer, Roland Huntford in which he describes Shackleton's attempt in a fragile open boat to cross Southern Ocean and reach South Georgia.  Along with Shackleton are five other men shown below . . .


Shackleton's Crew - Open Boat Journey







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