From our distant African origins to the igloo-dwelling Greenland Inuit, humankind has always extended our reach into whatever new and unexplored land lay at our domestic frontiers. We have not shied away from the most extreme of environments. Rather, we have learned, through trial and error, how to enter, how to survive and even thrive … More “All or nothing: When do you take the big risk?” Sometimes you just have to plunge ahead.
Like it or not, “luck” can have a lot to do with the outcomes of our efforts. Apparently random sequences of events beyond our control can determine the success of our endeavors, for good or ill. The most carefully planned and industriously executed plans can come to naught, or worse, in the sudden confluence of … More ”Luck” and Discovery
While holding a book event for “When Your Life Depends on It” yesterday, I was asked to talk about some of the bad decisions that were made. A very short, unqualified answer could be: “There are no bad decisions, only bad results.” Decisions quickly made under extreme circumstances in the face of sudden unforeseen hardships … More Re: What About the Bad Decisions?
Terra Nova Press is pleased to announce the publication of our latest book When Your Life Depends on It: Extreme Decision-Making Lessons from the Antarctic. Co-written by Brad Borkan (London), this book uses epic true stories from the “heroic age” of Antarctic exploration to place the reader in those life and death situations and asks … More Now in Print: “When Your Life Depends on It” co-authored by David Hirzel and Brad Borkan
—from Ernest Joyce’s account “The South Polar Trail”— “January 26th, Wednesday. Up at 5 o’clock. Then a talk during breakfast. Arriving at the conclusion to keep the tent pitched. The weather being clear and no clouds, we decided to investigate and search for a passage through. Skipper, Richy, and self roped together, I taking the … More Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, January 26, 1916: “. . . and then we saw the Great Beardmore Glacier. . .”
–from Ernest Joyce’s account “The South Polar Trail”— “October 26th, Tuesday. Up 5.30. Slept the sleep of the just. Temp. -26. Under way as usual. Sighted our Corner Camp (10 miles south of Safety Camp) 10.25, reaching same 12.25. Lunch. Here we had left a large quantity of stores on the way out. Now we … More Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, October 26-27, 1915: “So ended our first depot laying journey.”
–from the San Francisco Chronicle, November 4, 1913– “There is a splendid series of motion pictures on exhibition this week at the Savoy Theater, pictures all of which were taken by Herbert Ponting who was the official artist of Captain Scott’s Expedition to the South Pole. Some of the pictures are truly remarkable for their … More November 4, 1913: Ponting’s Motion Pictures of Scott
–from a news article in the San Francisco Chronicle February 11, 1913– “Mrs. Robert F. Scott left San Francisco last Wednesday on the Australian line steamer Anorangi, sanguine in the hope that she would greet her husband within two months at some New Zealand port. When seen here Mrs. Scott said she was sorry for … More February 11, 1913: “But my husband is a good sport . . . (Kathleen Scott)
–from Tryggve Gran’s account The Norwegian with Scott— “17 November. Back to ‘One Ton Camp’. The bad weather disappeared yesterday and we had a pleasant march. The going was soft and we used our skis, which went well–just like home for once. I am using Scott’s skis; they at any rate will complete the 3,000-km … More November 17, 1912: Some notes from the doomed polar party
–from Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s account The Worst Journey in the World— “Nearly midday. 11-12 miles south of One Ton. . . .Then Atkinson read the lesson from the Burial Service from Corinthians. Perhaps it has never been read in a more magnificent cathedral and under more impressive circumstances–for it is a grave which kings must envy. … More November 12, 1912: A burial on the Barrier