Home of the Blizzard: A True Story of Antarctic Survival

Overview

The Home of the Blizzard is a tale of discovery and adventure, of pioneering deeds, great courage, heart-stopping rescues and heroic endurance. This is Mawson's own account of his years spent in sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds. At its heart is his epic sledge journey of 1912-13, during which both his companions perished. Told in a laconic but gripping style, this is the classic account of the struggle for survival of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition – a journey which mapped more of Antarctica than...
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Overview

The Home of the Blizzard is a tale of discovery and adventure, of pioneering deeds, great courage, heart-stopping rescues and heroic endurance. This is Mawson's own account of his years spent in sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds. At its heart is his epic sledge journey of 1912-13, during which both his companions perished. Told in a laconic but gripping style, this is the classic account of the struggle for survival of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition – a journey which mapped more of Antarctica than any expedition before or since. The photographs included in this book were taken on the expedition by Frank Hurley, later to achieve fame on Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance expedition.
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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: 9781841580777
  • Publisher: Birlinn, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/1/2000
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sir Douglas Mawson, geologist and explorer, was born on May 5, 1882 at Shipley, Yorkshire, second son of Robert Ellis Mawson, before the family moved to Rooty Hill, near Sydney, in 1884. He went on to become one of Australia's greatest explorers, noted primarily for his extensive work in Antarctica. His exploration of the continent spanned the years between 1907 and 1931. He died in 1958.
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