Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the

Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the


Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration ❮Reading❯ ➶ Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration Author David Roberts – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk An important missing story from the heroic age of Antarctic exploration Laurence Gonzales, author of Deep SurvivalOn January , , alone and near starvation, Douglas Mawson, leader of the Australasian A An important missing story from the Ice: MOBI õ the heroic age of Antarctic exploration Laurence Gonzales, author of Deep SurvivalOn January alone and near starvation, Douglas Mawson, leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, was hauling a sledge to get back to base camp The dogs were gone Now Mawson himself plunged Alone on eBook µ through a snow bridge, dangling over an abyss by the sledge harness A line of poetry gave him the will to haul himself back to the surfaceMawson was sometimes reduced to crawling, and one night he discovered that the soles of his feet had completely detached from the flesh on the Ice: PDF ☆ beneath On February , when he staggered back to base, his features unrecognizably skeletal, the first teammate to reach him blurted out, Which one are you This thrilling and almost unbelievable account establishes Mawson in his rightful place as one of the greatest polar explorers and expedition leaders It is illustrated by a trove of Frank Hurley s famous Antarctic photographs, many never before published in the United States.

    Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the is illustrated by a trove of Frank Hurley s famous Antarctic photographs, many never before published in the United States."/>
  • Paperback
  • 368 pages
  • Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration
  • David Roberts
  • English
  • 26 September 2019
  • 0393347788

About the Author: David Roberts

Librarian Note There isthan one the Ice: MOBI õ author in the GoodReads database with this nameSee this thread forinformation David Roberts is the award winning author of twenty nine books about mountaineering, exploration, and anthropology His most recent publication, Alone on the Wall, was written with world class rock climber Alex Alone on eBook µ Honnold, whose historic feats were featured in the film Free Solo.



10 thoughts on “Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration

  1. Laura Salas Laura Salas says:

    The writing was engaging, and I understand the need to set this specific story in the context of Antarctic exploration as a whole But I am 1 3 of the way through, and we ve barely gotten to the expedition that is supposed to be the focus Instead, we keep jumping back and forth in time in WAY too much detail to other expeditions I ve lost any sense of urgency, and the book has lost me as a reader before I ve even gotten to what I assume is the good stuff the gripping adventure I was expecting The writing was engaging, and I understand the need to set this specific story in the context of Antarctic exploration as a whole But I am 1 3 of the way through, and we ve barely gotten to the expedition that is supposed to be the focus Instead, we keep jumping back and forth in time in WAY too much detail to other expeditions I ve lost any sense of urgency, and the book has lost me as a reader before I ve even gotten to what I assume is the good stuff the gripping adventure I was expecting when I picked this up I wanted to like it, but I m really disappointed in the pacing

  2. Don Don says:

    I readthan 40 books last year and only gave two 5 star reviews so I don t give them out too often Those who have read about the exploration of Antarctica are muchlikely to have read about Shackleton, Scott, and Amundsen, but this engaging story of Australian Douglas Mawson deserves equal attention.The central story covers how after a tragic accident, Mawson returned 300 miles to base without adequate supplies and only enough food for 10 days It took him nearly two months to return I readthan 40 books last year and only gave two 5 star reviews so I don t give them out too often Those who have read about the exploration of Antarctica are muchlikely to have read about Shackleton, Scott, and Amundsen, but this engaging story of Australian Douglas Mawson deserves equal attention.The central story covers how after a tragic accident, Mawson returned 300 miles to base without adequate supplies and only enough food for 10 days It took him nearly two months to return No less an explorer than Sir Edmund Hillary, the first climber of Mt Everest called it The greatest survival story in the history of exploration When you finish the book you may wonder if modern men could match the feats of Mawson and his companions In the epilogue the book tells the story of a modern day adventurer who tried to recreate Mawson s desperate 300 mile journey It was a worthy effort, but it only proved all thethe amazing accomplishment made by Mawson.Highly recommended

  3. Boston Boston says:

    That was the longest epilogue I ve ever endured

  4. Montzalee Wittmann Montzalee Wittmann says:

    Alone on the Ice The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration by David Roberts is a detailed account to the Antarctic of 1913 A brief description of other trips and the men who went there is in here also Then the details of little things I would never have thought about being trapped in a tent with other people and how an A personality and a B personality could really get on each others nerves and how they dealt with it Small things, but magnified when you are trapped in a tent Alone on the Ice The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration by David Roberts is a detailed account to the Antarctic of 1913 A brief description of other trips and the men who went there is in here also Then the details of little things I would never have thought about being trapped in a tent with other people and how an A personality and a B personality could really get on each others nerves and how they dealt with it Small things, but magnified when you are trapped in a tent for hours Survival techniques are discussed, in the tent and out, amazing things they did I would die for sure because I would never have thought of these things Otherunpleasant things they did to live, ugh It is all very fascinating, especially if you love history or exploration If you don t then this would be a long dull read for you The amazing trek Mawson made, by himself after his team mates died, and he almost died, to go back to camp and hope they hadn t left him It took 37 days alone, falling in deep abyss, no food, feet in near shreds, deep despair, no tools and starving Some men had waited for him as the ship had just sailed off a couple of hours before It is a very interesting read

  5. Nancy Oakes Nancy Oakes says:

    Having been a long time devourer of books on polar exploration, I wasthan interested when I saw that a new book on the topic had been recently published Alone on the Ice focuses on the story of Douglas Mawson, an Australian who led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition AAE from December, 1911 to 1913 While Mawson s name might be recognizable from his time serving under Ernst Shackleton, his work was eclipsed largely due to the other Antarctic expeditions under way at the time, especial Having been a long time devourer of books on polar exploration, I wasthan interested when I saw that a new book on the topic had been recently published Alone on the Ice focuses on the story of Douglas Mawson, an Australian who led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition AAE from December, 1911 to 1913 While Mawson s name might be recognizable from his time serving under Ernst Shackleton, his work was eclipsed largely due to the other Antarctic expeditions under way at the time, especially the race between Amundsen and Scott to be the first to the south pole during what is now referred to as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration Based on science, the expedition would prove arduous at best, but when tragedy strikes Mawson and his small sledging party of three, things go from bad to worse in a very short amount of time Mawson s incredible feat of survival is documented here, but it is not the entire story Author David Roberts has quite obviously put in a lot of time and energy as far as research not only does he explore Mawson s background and what led him to the Antarctic in the first place he also examines what it was like for the entire group of men some of whom had never even seen snow before living in such a forbidding environment, isolated from the rest of the world He then provides an epilogue as well as notes and his sources Unlike other Antarctic explorers of the time, Mawson had no interest in reaching the South Pole the AAE was primarily a scientific expedition and one of Mawson s intentions was to fill in some of the terra incognita, comprising a 2,000 mile long swath of ice and land in the part of the continent due south of Australia The expedition members left Australia on the Aurora and first reached Macquarie Island in December, 1911, where a five person contingent was left behind to a man a wireless relay station to be used for communication with Mawson s group Originally Mawson had planned to split the remaining men into three groups, but time, ice and weather permitted only two Mawson and one group were dropped at Cape Denison, while the other, under the command of Frank Wild, were brought by the Aurora further west to a point on the Shackleton Ice Shelf Both groups had several scientific missions scheduled and split into mini expedition parties at Cape Denison, Mawson formed the Far Eastern Party sledging exploration group to begin exploring the terra incognita which included himself, Swiss explorer Xavier Mertz and Belgrave Edward Sutton Ninnis, a lieutenant in the Royal Fusiliers Each party not remaining back at their respective bases had a firm return date so as not to miss the Aurora and the journey back to Australia It was during Mawson s Far Eastern Party enterprise that tragedy struck first in a crevasse where much of the group s supplies including tent were completely lost, and second, a slow, lingering death when the expedition was already down to only two people These catastrophic events prompted a harrowing solo 300 mile journey back to Cape Denison in beyond adverse conditions but would it be completed in time to eventually make it back home Alone on the Ice is an intriguing and compelling read that brings to life some of the hazards faced by the expedition members Mr Roberts details the tough conditions both on the ice and inside the huts where the men lived in probably the windiest place in all of Antarctica While being outside had its own set of problems, sometimes the safety of the base hut was compromised as well For example, one of the most interesting stories is that of Sidney Jeffryes, who served as the Cape Denison radio operator Jeffryes was the only member of the crew who knew how to use the radio, but during an overwinter his mental condition started to deteriorate While polar madness was a known malady at the time, Jeffryes condition was unlike anything the rest of the crew had ever experienced he began to exhibit signs of paranoia, convinced that the men were talking about him or plotting to kill him, and worse.It was Sir Edmund Hillary who labeled the survival story in this book the greatest survival story in the history of exploration I don t know if that s exactly true, but the book makes for some great reading It also includes some fascinating photos by expedition member and Australian photographer Frank Hurley, whose picture of Shackleton s Endurance stuck in Antarctic ice is world famous If you are already interested in expeditions to Antarctica, especially during their heyday in the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, this book is one that should not be missed I have only two minor issues regarding Alone on the Ice first there are two and only two maps throughout the entire volume, one of the Aurora s journeys between Australia and Antarctica, the other a very undetailed map of the Far Eastern Party s exploration trek While reading about the various expeditions taken by the sledging parties, it would have been quite helpful to have maps of their respective forays to gain a better feel for where all of this action was taking place When I wanted to knowabout the locations mentioned by the author, I had to go online so as to get a better picture in my head mapwise and featurewise Second, there are a few places where the author repeats himself in terms of one of his sources, a work known as Vixere Fortes, a memoir written by the son of one of the expedition members Each memoir reference is accompanied by a statement along the lines that it was written by the son, and must be considered as unreliable One time would have certainly sufficed I take it as an error in editing But heck these are such minor little niggles that they re almost negligible, considering how well written this book is overall I certainly gained a lot of information that a added to my understanding of Antarctic exploration and b prompted me to start looking up other sources of information on Mawson and the AAE As I ve so often said, when a book can do both of those things, most especially encouraging me to dive further into a topic, then it s definitely one I can recommend

  6. Cheryl Cheryl says:

    In 1911, a young university professor from Australia named Douglas Mawson, assembled a group of explorers and scientists to form the Australasian Antarctic Expedition whose mission was to map, photograph, and collect geologic samples from the continent of Antarctica After arriving and building a base camp, they wintered there before beginning their expedition Mawson divided the entire group into smaller teams to conduct the research and mapping Mawson s team of three men was fit and able The In 1911, a young university professor from Australia named Douglas Mawson, assembled a group of explorers and scientists to form the Australasian Antarctic Expedition whose mission was to map, photograph, and collect geologic samples from the continent of Antarctica After arriving and building a base camp, they wintered there before beginning their expedition Mawson divided the entire group into smaller teams to conduct the research and mapping Mawson s team of three men was fit and able They set out on a journey south of the camp in November with a goal of returning by mid January At the end of January, all team members had returned to base except Mawson s team On January 29, base camp members who had remained behind saw a figure approaching It was Mawson His two companions had suffered tragic fates Mawson had walkedthan 300 miles alone across barren, icy surface interspersed with hidden crevasses as well as bitter subzero temperatures and blizzard conditions He was unrecognizable and near starvation This is an astonishing story of perseverance, endurance, and survival that Sir Edmund Hillary called, The greatest survival story in the history of exploration It s one you won t soon forget

  7. Melinda Brasher Melinda Brasher says:

    This is an amazing story of survival and persistence and getting places just a bit too late I find it fascinating and incomprehensible what drives men to spend two or three years of their lives on single expeditions to hostile, uncharted places where they re always cold and mostly bored and sometimes in mortal danger, where there s absolutely no rescue possible and they have to survive on wits alone Okay, so it s sort of comprehensible And I can t get enough of these sorts of stories.This par This is an amazing story of survival and persistence and getting places just a bit too late I find it fascinating and incomprehensible what drives men to spend two or three years of their lives on single expeditions to hostile, uncharted places where they re always cold and mostly bored and sometimes in mortal danger, where there s absolutely no rescue possible and they have to survive on wits alone Okay, so it s sort of comprehensible And I can t get enough of these sorts of stories.This particular book could have been a bit shorter, I felt, as it did sometimes get bogged down in details, and I confess I got a lot of the secondary characters confused The best part was the harrowing tale of Mawson s team s tragic trek But I also liked the parts of the book that talked about the less glamorous aspects of polar survival, like how they kept themselves entertained and sane Very interesting

  8. Paula Paula says:

    I got sucked in by the Greatest in history subtitle Roberts is a dirty rotten liar in that respect A relatively interesting story Sure A harrowing tale Not so much Greatest ever not by 700 Antarctic miles in winter Delete the over promising title and the underwhelming story may have rated an unenthusiastic three stars Survival is this case means walking across a dangerous cold landscape and making the decision to not turn back when you should, because eating your dogs is less distaste I got sucked in by the Greatest in history subtitle Roberts is a dirty rotten liar in that respect A relatively interesting story Sure A harrowing tale Not so much Greatest ever not by 700 Antarctic miles in winter Delete the over promising title and the underwhelming story may have rated an unenthusiastic three stars Survival is this case means walking across a dangerous cold landscape and making the decision to not turn back when you should, because eating your dogs is less distasteful than curbing your ambition something the men were prepared for and had done on many occasions along the way and hoping the get away vehicle makes some allowances for your suicidally intense aspirations The greatest survival story in the history of exploration is actually just getting up most days on half rations or less and continuing to walk back the way you came and hoping someone will be there to save your sorry ass when you arrive It takes up one chapter in the book Actually two because the author sucks you in during the first chapter, then pads the book with personal histories, expedition details, and returns later for the uninspiring payoff Had he stuck to the story of survival it would hardly make a magazine article The padding is the one bright point Like most books on early arctic explorers it is full of background on family life, acquiring funding and competition to be first among pretty ruthless men it takes a stunningly strong backbone and appalling lack of compassion to strive to achieve firsts in an environment as inhospitable as the polar regions fierce competition comes as no surprise In adventure tales of the early 1900s human weakness was not an acceptable part of the story and dirty laundry was kept to yourself if you expected to be glorified upon your return This book does a good job of humanizing the explorers through excerpts from surviving diaries The personal nature of the interactions is well documented and presented in an easy to read, even sided, well developed fashion that did connect me to the explorers and their lines of supply The authors own editing what belongs in the book and what is superfluous is well done and I commend him for his talent in that aspect It is a fine line many fail to straddle, either boring the reader to tears or making connections that aren t sufficiently documented Kudos to Roberts for superbly executing that facet If, like me, you are fascinated with people who do stuff that s probably going to get them killed in the coldest darkest flattest places for seemingly no reason except to prove their manhood this is another one for the shelf, but only after you re tired of reading Endurance for the fourth time

  9. Joy D Joy D says:

    This book conveys the true story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition AAE , led by Australian explorer Douglas Mawson Mawson was a key contributor to the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration however, many people do not carry his name on the tip of the tongue as they do the names of Shackleton, Scott, and Amundsen While the title suggests this is the story of Mawson s miraculous survival in the wake of the death of his two companions while on an exploratory excursion, it is, in fact, a g This book conveys the true story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition AAE , led by Australian explorer Douglas Mawson Mawson was a key contributor to the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration however, many people do not carry his name on the tip of the tongue as they do the names of Shackleton, Scott, and Amundsen While the title suggests this is the story of Mawson s miraculous survival in the wake of the death of his two companions while on an exploratory excursion, it is, in fact, a great dealcomprehensive It provides the background and context for the AAE, including past experiences, preparations for the trip, and details about the lives of several of the participants The author is adept at selecting passages from the diaries of the crew without getting carried away with extraneous details We get a sense of Mawson as a scientist at heart, not concerned with the competitive race to the pole, but interested in mapping uncharted territory and conducting experiments to understand this frozen continent Overall, I enjoyed the book very much To me, the most engrossing chapters were related to the survival story The other parts were interesting but understandably not quite as riveting Recommended to readers interested in survival stories and the history of polar exploration

  10. Dax Dax says:

    Roberts structured this book well The first chapter covers the outward half of Mawson s trek and ends with the expeditions first tragedy We then jump back to Mawson s experiences on Shakleton s first Antarctic excursion and proceed up to the launch of the AAE While Mawson s story does not quite compare to Shackleton s incredible story of his 1914 1917 expedition, it is undoubtedly an impressive tale Mawson deservesrecognition than he currently receives I m a big fan of polar explorati Roberts structured this book well The first chapter covers the outward half of Mawson s trek and ends with the expeditions first tragedy We then jump back to Mawson s experiences on Shakleton s first Antarctic excursion and proceed up to the launch of the AAE While Mawson s story does not quite compare to Shackleton s incredible story of his 1914 1917 expedition, it is undoubtedly an impressive tale Mawson deservesrecognition than he currently receives I m a big fan of polar exploration stories so I may not be the most reliable judge, but I would call this an excellent read

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10 thoughts on “Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration

  1. Laura Salas Laura Salas says:

    The writing was engaging, and I understand the need to set this specific story in the context of Antarctic exploration as a whole But I am 1 3 of the way through, and we ve barely gotten to the expedition that is supposed to be the focus Instead, we keep jumping back and forth in time in WAY too much detail to other expeditions I ve lost any sense of urgency, and the book has lost me as a reader before I ve even gotten to what I assume is the good stuff the gripping adventure I was expecting The writing was engaging, and I understand the need to set this specific story in the context of Antarctic exploration as a whole But I am 1 3 of the way through, and we ve barely gotten to the expedition that is supposed to be the focus Instead, we keep jumping back and forth in time in WAY too much detail to other expeditions I ve lost any sense of urgency, and the book has lost me as a reader before I ve even gotten to what I assume is the good stuff the gripping adventure I was expecting when I picked this up I wanted to like it, but I m really disappointed in the pacing

  2. Don Don says:

    I readthan 40 books last year and only gave two 5 star reviews so I don t give them out too often Those who have read about the exploration of Antarctica are muchlikely to have read about Shackleton, Scott, and Amundsen, but this engaging story of Australian Douglas Mawson deserves equal attention.The central story covers how after a tragic accident, Mawson returned 300 miles to base without adequate supplies and only enough food for 10 days It took him nearly two months to return I readthan 40 books last year and only gave two 5 star reviews so I don t give them out too often Those who have read about the exploration of Antarctica are muchlikely to have read about Shackleton, Scott, and Amundsen, but this engaging story of Australian Douglas Mawson deserves equal attention.The central story covers how after a tragic accident, Mawson returned 300 miles to base without adequate supplies and only enough food for 10 days It took him nearly two months to return No less an explorer than Sir Edmund Hillary, the first climber of Mt Everest called it The greatest survival story in the history of exploration When you finish the book you may wonder if modern men could match the feats of Mawson and his companions In the epilogue the book tells the story of a modern day adventurer who tried to recreate Mawson s desperate 300 mile journey It was a worthy effort, but it only proved all thethe amazing accomplishment made by Mawson.Highly recommended

  3. Boston Boston says:

    That was the longest epilogue I ve ever endured

  4. Montzalee Wittmann Montzalee Wittmann says:

    Alone on the Ice The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration by David Roberts is a detailed account to the Antarctic of 1913 A brief description of other trips and the men who went there is in here also Then the details of little things I would never have thought about being trapped in a tent with other people and how an A personality and a B personality could really get on each others nerves and how they dealt with it Small things, but magnified when you are trapped in a tent Alone on the Ice The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration by David Roberts is a detailed account to the Antarctic of 1913 A brief description of other trips and the men who went there is in here also Then the details of little things I would never have thought about being trapped in a tent with other people and how an A personality and a B personality could really get on each others nerves and how they dealt with it Small things, but magnified when you are trapped in a tent for hours Survival techniques are discussed, in the tent and out, amazing things they did I would die for sure because I would never have thought of these things Otherunpleasant things they did to live, ugh It is all very fascinating, especially if you love history or exploration If you don t then this would be a long dull read for you The amazing trek Mawson made, by himself after his team mates died, and he almost died, to go back to camp and hope they hadn t left him It took 37 days alone, falling in deep abyss, no food, feet in near shreds, deep despair, no tools and starving Some men had waited for him as the ship had just sailed off a couple of hours before It is a very interesting read

  5. Nancy Oakes Nancy Oakes says:

    Having been a long time devourer of books on polar exploration, I wasthan interested when I saw that a new book on the topic had been recently published Alone on the Ice focuses on the story of Douglas Mawson, an Australian who led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition AAE from December, 1911 to 1913 While Mawson s name might be recognizable from his time serving under Ernst Shackleton, his work was eclipsed largely due to the other Antarctic expeditions under way at the time, especial Having been a long time devourer of books on polar exploration, I wasthan interested when I saw that a new book on the topic had been recently published Alone on the Ice focuses on the story of Douglas Mawson, an Australian who led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition AAE from December, 1911 to 1913 While Mawson s name might be recognizable from his time serving under Ernst Shackleton, his work was eclipsed largely due to the other Antarctic expeditions under way at the time, especially the race between Amundsen and Scott to be the first to the south pole during what is now referred to as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration Based on science, the expedition would prove arduous at best, but when tragedy strikes Mawson and his small sledging party of three, things go from bad to worse in a very short amount of time Mawson s incredible feat of survival is documented here, but it is not the entire story Author David Roberts has quite obviously put in a lot of time and energy as far as research not only does he explore Mawson s background and what led him to the Antarctic in the first place he also examines what it was like for the entire group of men some of whom had never even seen snow before living in such a forbidding environment, isolated from the rest of the world He then provides an epilogue as well as notes and his sources Unlike other Antarctic explorers of the time, Mawson had no interest in reaching the South Pole the AAE was primarily a scientific expedition and one of Mawson s intentions was to fill in some of the terra incognita, comprising a 2,000 mile long swath of ice and land in the part of the continent due south of Australia The expedition members left Australia on the Aurora and first reached Macquarie Island in December, 1911, where a five person contingent was left behind to a man a wireless relay station to be used for communication with Mawson s group Originally Mawson had planned to split the remaining men into three groups, but time, ice and weather permitted only two Mawson and one group were dropped at Cape Denison, while the other, under the command of Frank Wild, were brought by the Aurora further west to a point on the Shackleton Ice Shelf Both groups had several scientific missions scheduled and split into mini expedition parties at Cape Denison, Mawson formed the Far Eastern Party sledging exploration group to begin exploring the terra incognita which included himself, Swiss explorer Xavier Mertz and Belgrave Edward Sutton Ninnis, a lieutenant in the Royal Fusiliers Each party not remaining back at their respective bases had a firm return date so as not to miss the Aurora and the journey back to Australia It was during Mawson s Far Eastern Party enterprise that tragedy struck first in a crevasse where much of the group s supplies including tent were completely lost, and second, a slow, lingering death when the expedition was already down to only two people These catastrophic events prompted a harrowing solo 300 mile journey back to Cape Denison in beyond adverse conditions but would it be completed in time to eventually make it back home Alone on the Ice is an intriguing and compelling read that brings to life some of the hazards faced by the expedition members Mr Roberts details the tough conditions both on the ice and inside the huts where the men lived in probably the windiest place in all of Antarctica While being outside had its own set of problems, sometimes the safety of the base hut was compromised as well For example, one of the most interesting stories is that of Sidney Jeffryes, who served as the Cape Denison radio operator Jeffryes was the only member of the crew who knew how to use the radio, but during an overwinter his mental condition started to deteriorate While polar madness was a known malady at the time, Jeffryes condition was unlike anything the rest of the crew had ever experienced he began to exhibit signs of paranoia, convinced that the men were talking about him or plotting to kill him, and worse.It was Sir Edmund Hillary who labeled the survival story in this book the greatest survival story in the history of exploration I don t know if that s exactly true, but the book makes for some great reading It also includes some fascinating photos by expedition member and Australian photographer Frank Hurley, whose picture of Shackleton s Endurance stuck in Antarctic ice is world famous If you are already interested in expeditions to Antarctica, especially during their heyday in the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, this book is one that should not be missed I have only two minor issues regarding Alone on the Ice first there are two and only two maps throughout the entire volume, one of the Aurora s journeys between Australia and Antarctica, the other a very undetailed map of the Far Eastern Party s exploration trek While reading about the various expeditions taken by the sledging parties, it would have been quite helpful to have maps of their respective forays to gain a better feel for where all of this action was taking place When I wanted to knowabout the locations mentioned by the author, I had to go online so as to get a better picture in my head mapwise and featurewise Second, there are a few places where the author repeats himself in terms of one of his sources, a work known as Vixere Fortes, a memoir written by the son of one of the expedition members Each memoir reference is accompanied by a statement along the lines that it was written by the son, and must be considered as unreliable One time would have certainly sufficed I take it as an error in editing But heck these are such minor little niggles that they re almost negligible, considering how well written this book is overall I certainly gained a lot of information that a added to my understanding of Antarctic exploration and b prompted me to start looking up other sources of information on Mawson and the AAE As I ve so often said, when a book can do both of those things, most especially encouraging me to dive further into a topic, then it s definitely one I can recommend

  6. Cheryl Cheryl says:

    In 1911, a young university professor from Australia named Douglas Mawson, assembled a group of explorers and scientists to form the Australasian Antarctic Expedition whose mission was to map, photograph, and collect geologic samples from the continent of Antarctica After arriving and building a base camp, they wintered there before beginning their expedition Mawson divided the entire group into smaller teams to conduct the research and mapping Mawson s team of three men was fit and able The In 1911, a young university professor from Australia named Douglas Mawson, assembled a group of explorers and scientists to form the Australasian Antarctic Expedition whose mission was to map, photograph, and collect geologic samples from the continent of Antarctica After arriving and building a base camp, they wintered there before beginning their expedition Mawson divided the entire group into smaller teams to conduct the research and mapping Mawson s team of three men was fit and able They set out on a journey south of the camp in November with a goal of returning by mid January At the end of January, all team members had returned to base except Mawson s team On January 29, base camp members who had remained behind saw a figure approaching It was Mawson His two companions had suffered tragic fates Mawson had walkedthan 300 miles alone across barren, icy surface interspersed with hidden crevasses as well as bitter subzero temperatures and blizzard conditions He was unrecognizable and near starvation This is an astonishing story of perseverance, endurance, and survival that Sir Edmund Hillary called, The greatest survival story in the history of exploration It s one you won t soon forget

  7. Melinda Brasher Melinda Brasher says:

    This is an amazing story of survival and persistence and getting places just a bit too late I find it fascinating and incomprehensible what drives men to spend two or three years of their lives on single expeditions to hostile, uncharted places where they re always cold and mostly bored and sometimes in mortal danger, where there s absolutely no rescue possible and they have to survive on wits alone Okay, so it s sort of comprehensible And I can t get enough of these sorts of stories.This par This is an amazing story of survival and persistence and getting places just a bit too late I find it fascinating and incomprehensible what drives men to spend two or three years of their lives on single expeditions to hostile, uncharted places where they re always cold and mostly bored and sometimes in mortal danger, where there s absolutely no rescue possible and they have to survive on wits alone Okay, so it s sort of comprehensible And I can t get enough of these sorts of stories.This particular book could have been a bit shorter, I felt, as it did sometimes get bogged down in details, and I confess I got a lot of the secondary characters confused The best part was the harrowing tale of Mawson s team s tragic trek But I also liked the parts of the book that talked about the less glamorous aspects of polar survival, like how they kept themselves entertained and sane Very interesting

  8. Paula Paula says:

    I got sucked in by the Greatest in history subtitle Roberts is a dirty rotten liar in that respect A relatively interesting story Sure A harrowing tale Not so much Greatest ever not by 700 Antarctic miles in winter Delete the over promising title and the underwhelming story may have rated an unenthusiastic three stars Survival is this case means walking across a dangerous cold landscape and making the decision to not turn back when you should, because eating your dogs is less distaste I got sucked in by the Greatest in history subtitle Roberts is a dirty rotten liar in that respect A relatively interesting story Sure A harrowing tale Not so much Greatest ever not by 700 Antarctic miles in winter Delete the over promising title and the underwhelming story may have rated an unenthusiastic three stars Survival is this case means walking across a dangerous cold landscape and making the decision to not turn back when you should, because eating your dogs is less distasteful than curbing your ambition something the men were prepared for and had done on many occasions along the way and hoping the get away vehicle makes some allowances for your suicidally intense aspirations The greatest survival story in the history of exploration is actually just getting up most days on half rations or less and continuing to walk back the way you came and hoping someone will be there to save your sorry ass when you arrive It takes up one chapter in the book Actually two because the author sucks you in during the first chapter, then pads the book with personal histories, expedition details, and returns later for the uninspiring payoff Had he stuck to the story of survival it would hardly make a magazine article The padding is the one bright point Like most books on early arctic explorers it is full of background on family life, acquiring funding and competition to be first among pretty ruthless men it takes a stunningly strong backbone and appalling lack of compassion to strive to achieve firsts in an environment as inhospitable as the polar regions fierce competition comes as no surprise In adventure tales of the early 1900s human weakness was not an acceptable part of the story and dirty laundry was kept to yourself if you expected to be glorified upon your return This book does a good job of humanizing the explorers through excerpts from surviving diaries The personal nature of the interactions is well documented and presented in an easy to read, even sided, well developed fashion that did connect me to the explorers and their lines of supply The authors own editing what belongs in the book and what is superfluous is well done and I commend him for his talent in that aspect It is a fine line many fail to straddle, either boring the reader to tears or making connections that aren t sufficiently documented Kudos to Roberts for superbly executing that facet If, like me, you are fascinated with people who do stuff that s probably going to get them killed in the coldest darkest flattest places for seemingly no reason except to prove their manhood this is another one for the shelf, but only after you re tired of reading Endurance for the fourth time

  9. Joy D Joy D says:

    This book conveys the true story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition AAE , led by Australian explorer Douglas Mawson Mawson was a key contributor to the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration however, many people do not carry his name on the tip of the tongue as they do the names of Shackleton, Scott, and Amundsen While the title suggests this is the story of Mawson s miraculous survival in the wake of the death of his two companions while on an exploratory excursion, it is, in fact, a g This book conveys the true story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition AAE , led by Australian explorer Douglas Mawson Mawson was a key contributor to the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration however, many people do not carry his name on the tip of the tongue as they do the names of Shackleton, Scott, and Amundsen While the title suggests this is the story of Mawson s miraculous survival in the wake of the death of his two companions while on an exploratory excursion, it is, in fact, a great dealcomprehensive It provides the background and context for the AAE, including past experiences, preparations for the trip, and details about the lives of several of the participants The author is adept at selecting passages from the diaries of the crew without getting carried away with extraneous details We get a sense of Mawson as a scientist at heart, not concerned with the competitive race to the pole, but interested in mapping uncharted territory and conducting experiments to understand this frozen continent Overall, I enjoyed the book very much To me, the most engrossing chapters were related to the survival story The other parts were interesting but understandably not quite as riveting Recommended to readers interested in survival stories and the history of polar exploration

  10. Dax Dax says:

    Roberts structured this book well The first chapter covers the outward half of Mawson s trek and ends with the expeditions first tragedy We then jump back to Mawson s experiences on Shakleton s first Antarctic excursion and proceed up to the launch of the AAE While Mawson s story does not quite compare to Shackleton s incredible story of his 1914 1917 expedition, it is undoubtedly an impressive tale Mawson deservesrecognition than he currently receives I m a big fan of polar explorati Roberts structured this book well The first chapter covers the outward half of Mawson s trek and ends with the expeditions first tragedy We then jump back to Mawson s experiences on Shakleton s first Antarctic excursion and proceed up to the launch of the AAE While Mawson s story does not quite compare to Shackleton s incredible story of his 1914 1917 expedition, it is undoubtedly an impressive tale Mawson deservesrecognition than he currently receives I m a big fan of polar exploration stories so I may not be the most reliable judge, but I would call this an excellent read

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