Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, May 19, 1916: “And we were in a solitude never before broken by man.”

–from Frank Worsley’s account ‘Endurance’—

“When we attained the crest of the second pass and again looked down, we found the conditions almost as bad as at the first. The beauty of the scene only intensified the iron of our position. In front of us stretched a truly magnificent view: the exquisite purity of Alpine scenery in a crystalline atmosphere with deep blue skies broken only here and there by a few soft, fleecy clouds which contrasted sharply with the brilliant sunshine that blazed into the valleys and over the icy uplands. We stood between two gigantic black crags that seemed to have forced their way upwards through their icy covering—dark and forbidding masses of bleak and barren rock. Before us was the Allardyce range, peak beyond peak, snow-clad and majestic, glittering in the sunshine. Sweeping down their flanks were magnificent glaciers, noble to look upon, but, as we realized, threatening to our advance. And we were in a solitude never before broken by man.

“Still, a way had to be found.”

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