Home of the Blizzard: A True Story of Antarctic Survival

Home of the Blizzard: A True Story of Antarctic Survival

by Douglas Mawson
     
 

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The Home of the Blizzard is a tale of discovery and adventure in the Antarctic -- of pioneering deeds, great courage, heart-stopping rescues, and heroic perseverance. This is Douglas Mawson's first-hand account of his years spent in sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds. At the heart of the story is Mawson's epic sledge journey from 1912 - 1913, duringSee more details below

Overview

The Home of the Blizzard is a tale of discovery and adventure in the Antarctic -- of pioneering deeds, great courage, heart-stopping rescues, and heroic perseverance. This is Douglas Mawson's first-hand account of his years spent in sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds. At the heart of the story is Mawson's epic sledge journey from 1912 - 1913, during which his companions, B.E.S. Ninnis and Xavier Mertz, both perished. This classic book also details the Australasian Antarctic Expedition's daily subsistence on the icy continent in the early years of the century.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Presents a first-hand account of a pioneering sledge journey in the Antarctic, first published in 1915. Mawson details daily life and harrowing adventures during his years spent in sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds as part of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. Includes some 90 wonderful b&w photos of wildlife, harsh living conditions, and the spirit of the explorers. This edition contains a foreword by the first person to cross Antarctica on foot. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
A classic tale of outdoor adventure that, although a little dry by today's post-Krakauer standards, remains powerful. Mawson, an Australian mountaineer/explorer who died in 1958, traveled to Antarctica as a member of a British government surveying expedition in 1913. He found the continent to be less daunting in some ways than he might have anticipated—the weather on the southern shore of the Ross Sea, for one thing, was often surprisingly mild—although certainly dangerous. As he writes, much of his team's early work lay in the uninteresting details of packing and unpacking thousands of pounds of coal, canned food sufficient to last for two years ('preserved meats were taken only in comparatively small quantities, for in the matter of meat we intended to rely chiefly on seal and penguin flesh'), mapping equipment, and countless other bits of ordnance. He would come to miss those uneventful days when he and members of his party traveled inland from the Ross Sea shelf to map the rugged interior, where glacial ice and blizzards proved to be a constant challenge. So, too, did rocky cliffs and hidden crevasses, one of which swallowed up a comrade and his dog team. And so, too, did frostbite, which claimed bits and pieces of each of his team. Mawson writes with understatement and the explorer's customary sangfroid ('I received rather a nasty squeeze through falling into a hole whilst going downhill, the sledge falling on me before I could get clear'), a stiff-upper-lip stance that gives way from time to time to unmistakable affection, both for his fellow travelers and for Antarctica itself, which Mawson found to be hauntingly beautiful. Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the famed Britishexplorer, writes in the foreword to this reissue of this 1915 title that he rereads Mawson's book 'during the planning stage of each new expedition.' The lesson less practiced polar explorers might take away is: stay home and read this book.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312211257
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Edition description:
ST. MARTIN
Pages:
572
Product dimensions:
5.92(w) x 8.59(h) x 1.59(d)

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