David Roberts

Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration (Paperback)

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<p>On January 17, 1913, 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 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 surface.</p> <p>Mawson was sometimes reduced to crawling, and one night he discovered that the soles of his feet had completely detached from the flesh beneath. On February 8, when he staggered back to base, his features unrecognizably skeletal, the first teammate to reach him blurted out, &quot;Which one are you?&quot;</p> <p>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.</p>

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On January 17, 1913, 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 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 surface.

Mawson was sometimes reduced to crawling, and one night he discovered that the soles of his feet had completely detached from the flesh beneath. On February 8, 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

Specifications

Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
368
Author
David Roberts
Title
Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration
ISBN-13
9780393347784
Publication Date
March, 2014
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.50 Inches
ISBN-10
0393347788

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars
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Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Fantastic! Since readi...

Fantastic! Since reading this book I compare anything tough (in my mind) to do, I just think how bloody tough these blokes were and suck it up. I haven't read about Shackleton and Scott yet but this is a really great story, there were many stories in here that made me stop in my tracks and say "No way! How did they/he go on?"All of the men in this story are hero's, I could not imagine any group of people (maybe a rare individual) from this time surviving this ordeal, we really have become a bunch of soft powder puffs and we have to find ways to harden the heck up.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Alone o nthe Ice by Da...

Alone o nthe Ice by David Roberts recounts the adventure of Douglas Mawson, an Antartic explorer, who survived twenty days in the artic cold by himself after both of his traveling partners died in the bitter cold. The first died falling into a crevass, the other died essentially of starvation. How this man, the expedition leader, survived is a tale of its own. The year was 1913, so little in the way of technological expertise existed. The whole expedition is described in the book and quite a bit of detail both before and after the expedition. I give this book 3 1/2 stars

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Prior to the publicati...

Prior to the publication of Mawson's Will in the mid 1970s, the story of Douglas Mawson was only well known among specialists. Thereafter he's had a renaissance and became probably the 4th most famous explorer of the "Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration" (1893-1922) after Scott, Shackleton and Roald Amundsen. It was in Mawson's Will that his amazing survival story was first given proper treatment. Mawson did write about it in The Home of the Blizzard, a very long 2-volume work published in 1914, but the survival story is only a fairly short chapter (Chapter 13) that was largely overlooked at the time and then forgotten in the wake of the war. The problem with Mawson's Will, though it popularized Mawson, is it simplified events. Thus there has been a need for a more comprehensive retelling of the Mawson's expedition and that is what Alone on the Ice sets out to do. Unlike most other expeditions which had a clear goal (eg. reach the south pole), this one contained no less then 7 different simultaneous expeditions with no set goal other than to explore blank spaces on the map along the coast. It thus presents a narrative challenge. Nevertheless I think it covers many different aspects and is highly readable. In fact I found the drama of the second overwinter involving Jeffrys to be gripping in a way I'd never read before in a polar account. I have not read Mawson's Will but plan on doing so since it was so influential. I did read chapter 13 in The Home of the Blizzard and it concurs with Alone on the Ice's retelling.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Amazing survival story...

Amazing survival story of Douglas Mawson, but also an interesting story of polar exploration centered around Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition AAE, 1913. It was during the time of intense Antarctic exploration by Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen as they attempted to reach the south pole, but not many people know about the AAE and Mawson's place as its leader. AAE was more centered on exploring the continent and bringing back scientific information. The book gives side information on all these expeditions as it explores how many of the men were involved in more than one expedition. It gives background info on all the members of the AAE expedition and sometimes has difficulty maintaining a cohesive story as there are so many parallel enterprises going on at the same time. Still it was a gripping and at times horrifying story of the bravery and fortitude and difficult decisions required of these men, especially Mawson, as he barely survives 30 days alone on the ice trying to make his way back to base camp.

Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

Pretty much your run-o...

Pretty much your run-of-the-mill historical treatise, which I liked only because of my extreme interest in polar exploration. Writing was nothing spectacular -- "So-and-so says this, and so-and-so also said that, but what's-his-face said that. We will never know the true story." *sigh*


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