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Item #: PL202-9602
SHADOWS ON THE WASTELAND CROSSING ANTARCTICA WITH RANULPH FIENNES Stroud 1996 Softcover Fine 2 Copies Available
By Stroud, Mike
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New York, 1996. 182 pp, color photos. Softcover. Fine.

Stroud, physician and nutritionist, was no stranger to polar travel or to Ranulph Fiennes; they previously tried unsuccessfully to reach the North Pole from Siberia. When Fiennes launched plans for an unsupported Antarctic crossing, he asked Stroud to join him. Flying from Punta Arenas, Chile, they began their epic journey in November 1992. Stroud gives a riveting account of their ordeal. Each man pulled a sleigh that weighed nearly 500 pounds and carried skis and wind sails.
 
Personality clashes that developed in daytime evaporated at night. One bone of contention was the pace--Fiennes liked his 'polar plod,' while Stroud wanted to move faster. They had planned to cross the floating Ross Ice Shelf to open water, having crossed the continent in 90 days--the first such crossing without the help of animals, machines or other humans. But by Day 95 they were too weak to continue, frostbitten and near starvation. In retrospect, writes Stroud, he would like to repeat the journey and finish what was left undone. A fine story of derring-do. 

Imagine walking 1350 miles; imagine doing so in Antarctica's hostile terrain and climate; and imagine doing so with no assistance from animals or machines and no dependence on food caches or resupply efforts. This is exactly what Stroud and Fiennes undertook when they attempted the first unsupported traverse of the Antartic continent. Veterans of previous Arctic expeditions, they began their journey in November 1992, each pulling a sled loaded with 500 pounds of food, fuel, and supplies.
 
They ended 95 days later, frostbitten and near starvation, but having accomplished what no other human had done before. This account by Stroud, a physician and survival consultant to the British Ministry of Defense, recalls the grueling adventure, replete with broken equipment, broken bones, and not infrequently broken spirits. Their will to survive and succeed prevailed, however. Stroud candidly details not only the extreme physical difficulties but also the psychological and interpersonal strains associated with such a trip. This book will appeal to readers interested in challenges of both the land and the mind.

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