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Item #: BK819-420
ISLAND AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD [SOUTH GEORGIA ISLAND] 1991 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine SIGNED by Stephen Venables
By Venables, Stephen
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London, 1991, 1st edition. 177 pp, color photos. Hardcover with dust jacket. Fine

SIGNED by Stephen Venables. 


The exploration and history of South Georgia Island. Venables' party skied the glaciers and made first ascents of many peaks.

The island of South Georgia, isolated on the edge of the Antarctic Circle, offers a remarkable kaleidoscope of images, all explored by Stephen Venables in this finely observed picture of one of Britain's furthest outposts. South Georgia is the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton, Antarctica's truest hero, whose legendary crossing of the island in 1916 was the main inspiration for Venables' odyssey. But his grave lies only yards from the rusting ghost town of Grytviken, a testament to the ravages of the whaling industry.
 
1982 brought another chapter in man's exploitation, when scrap merchants raised the Argentinian flag on the island. First-hand accounts of the defense of South Georgia in the Falklands War come from some of the military still working in Antarctic waters, and officers and crew of the ice patrol vessel Endurance, itself reprieved for its war service. Ruled by sea and wind, South Georgia is at the mercy of the elements and for Stephen Venables and his four climbing companions the greatest challenge was weathering the blizzard conditions - they spent twenty-three days trapped in an ice cave.
 
They traveled round the austerely beautiful south-east coastline, a teeming sanctuary for seals, penguins and albatross, and in the interior they skied pristine glaciers, weaving between crevasses and crossing wind-blasted passes to reach previously untrodden summits. At a time when the future of Antarctica as an exploitable mineral resource or the world's last great protected wilderness is a subject of fierce international debate, Venables' thoughtful book is more than an enviable climbing adventure. It is a picture of a fragile world which has already suffered from man's mistreatment, but whose future lies in our hands.

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