Riding the Ice Wind: By Kite and Sledge Across Antarctica

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Overview

Leaving the security of friends, work, and a wife, Alastair Vere Nicoll joined a team of young men to harness the katabatic winds and haul and kite-surf across Antarctica: the coldest, windiest, most violent continent on earth. Not since Shackleton nearly perished attempting the same thing in his Endurance expedition had such a crossing been attempted. This is the story not only of the first West-to-East traverse of the continent of Antarctica, but of the crossing of two phases in the author?s life?from youth ...

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Riding the Ice Wind: By Kite and Sledge across Antarctica

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Overview

Leaving the security of friends, work, and a wife, Alastair Vere Nicoll joined a team of young men to harness the katabatic winds and haul and kite-surf across Antarctica: the coldest, windiest, most violent continent on earth. Not since Shackleton nearly perished attempting the same thing in his Endurance expedition had such a crossing been attempted. This is the story not only of the first West-to-East traverse of the continent of Antarctica, but of the crossing of two phases in the author’s life—from youth into manhood,  fantasy into reality. It is also the story of a race against time, as he fought to get home for the birth of his first child. As Alastair battled through the freezing wastes, exploring the earth’s wildest continent and his deepest self, he was haunted by the ghosts of past explorers and by the question of what it is to be a “modern man.”

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a heart-led account of one of the longest, hardest polar journeys of recent years. It is a testament that enduring hardship isn't about bravado but about a quiet, at times faltering, daily decision to endure." —  Bear Grylls, Man vs. Wild

"It's extremely heartening to discover, through a text that is beautifully and powerfully written, that a younger generation of adventurers has got what it takes - and more. They prove themselves worthy successors to their heroes, Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott." John Hare, author of Mysteries of the Gobi

"An original and compelling book that really gets into the psyche of adventure and the conflict between the call of responsibility and the desire for freedom. I thoroughly enjoyed it." Jonny Bealby, Wild Frontiers

"...fresh as a daisy... challenging, intelligent and thoughtful. Riding the Ice Wind reminds us that decent writing about tough adventure need not be a thing of the past. A hundred years ago there was a great explorer with a literary soul and the ability to write well. Alastair Vere Nicoll may not be Ernest Shackleton, but he's living proof that while the literary explorer may be an endangered species, there are still a few out there, if you know where to look." — Nick Smith, for Bookdealer

"...lovely descriptions of the wilderness. The real voyage at the heart of the book, though, is the attempt to discover meaning in a life the writer had found increasingly mediocre." — Clove Stroud, Sunday Telegraph

"...A superbly engaging account of an impossibly hard trip. Its originality, however, lies in its sensitivity to the purpose of such expeditions to the have-it-all generation." — Richard Lofthouse, Oxford Today, Hilary Term edition

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848853065
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Alastair Vere Nicoll is the investment director at Berkley Energy. He studied English Literature at Oxford University where he was awarded an undergraduate scholarship and a double first class degree. He lives in London.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Route Map

Introduction 1

1 Beginnings 5

2 Flaubert's Parrot 12

3 A New Life 16

4 Altered Reality 22

5 Constructing the Creature 29

6 There But Still Nowhere 39

7 Family Matters 45

8 Fly on my Wind 57

9 A New Horizon 64

10 The Icefall 77

11 The Layer Cake 85

12 Down and Out 96

13 Silence Valley 102

14 The Sword of Damocles 110

15 Difficult Decisions 126

16 It's All in the Mind 132

17 Uncontactable 140

18 Divide and Rule 144

19 Heat Miser 152

20 Travelling Without Moving 161

21 The South Pole 171

22 Leaving the End of the Earth 181

23 North 197

24 The Winds of Change 202

25 Touching the Void 206

26 Mutability 213

27 The Final Burst 221

28 An End and a Beginning 226

Epilogue 239

Select Bibliography 251

Author's Note 255

Acknowledgements 257

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2014

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