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He mentally painted images onto the desolate landscape for hours on end, and he summoned memories of his wife, Joanna, his twenty-one-year-old son, Max, and his nineteen-year-old daughter, Alicia. One contained the adage “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Another, written by Joanna, said, “Come back to me safely, my darling.” As is true of many adventurers, he seemed to be on an inward quest as much as an outward one—the journey was a way to subject himself to an ultimate test of character.He was also raising money for the Endeavour Fund, a charity for wounded soldiers.The trek had begun at nearly sea level, and he’d been ascending with a merciless steadiness, the air thinning and his nose sometimes bleeding from the pressure; a crimson mist colored the snow along his path. Worsley was a retired British Army officer who had served in the Special Air Service, a renowned commando unit.
A few weeks earlier, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who was the patron of the expedition, had broadcast a message for Worsley that said, “You’re doing a cracking job.
Everyone back here is keeping up with what you’re up to, and very proud of everything you’re achieving.” Worsley’s journey captivated people around the world, including legions of schoolchildren who were following his progress.
On the ice, though, he resembled a beast, hauling and sleeping, hauling and sleeping, as if he were keeping time to some primal rhythm.
He had grown accustomed to the obliterating conditions, overcoming miseries that would’ve broken just about anyone else.
And so it remained all day and has showed no sliver of change this evening.
Navigation under such circumstances is always a challenge. I reckon I lost about three miles’ distance today from snaking around, head permanently bowed to read the compass, just my shuffling skis to look at for nine hours.
Whenever Worsley faced a perilous situation—and he was now in more peril than he’d ever been—he asked himself one question: What would Shacks do?
enry Worsley’s father, like Shackleton, had been a celebrated leader of men.
Every few days, he checked on them, jotting down in a notebook how many eggs had been laid, or how fast the hatchlings were growing.
He had little interest in his classroom studies, but he often disappeared into the library and read poetry and tales of adventure.