In November 1915, Sir Ernest Shackleton watched horrified as the grinding ice floes of the Weddell Sea squeezed the life from his ship, Endurance. Caught in the chaos of splintered wood, buckled metalwork and tangled rigging lay Shackleton’s dream of being the first man to complete the crossing of Antarctica. Shackleton would not live to make a second attempt – but his dream endured.
Shackleton’s Dream tells for the first time the story of the British Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, led by Vivian Fuchs and Sir Edmund Hillary. Forty years after the loss of Endurance, they set out to succeed where Shackleton had so heroically failed. Using tracked vehicles and converted farm tractors in place of Shackleton’s man-hauled sledges, they faced a colossal challenge: a perilous 2,000-mile journey across the most demanding landscape on the planet.
This epic adventure saw two giants of twentieth-century exploration pitted not only against Nature at her most hostile, but also against each other. Planned as a historic (and scientific) continental crossing, the expedition would eventually develop into a dramatic ‘Race to the South Pole’ – a contest as controversial as that of Scott and Amundsen more than four decades earlier.