In November 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton assembled 27 men for the most audacious expedition ever attempted in Antarctic history: to traverse the continent, from sea to sea, via the South Pole.
The expedition faltered when their ship, Endurance, was held in the grip of the ice of the Weddell Sea until she was crushed and sank. It was three harrowing years of exceptional fortitude that led to not a single life being lost and the crew of Endurance being saved.
But what of the crossing of the Antarctica? The prize eluded Shackleton and he never led another expedition to Antarctica. The route he planned has become a part of history, along with the faded photographs of the men who were willing to sacrifice everything.
November 2014 will see the centenary of this great expedition, as well as a new team setting out from Great Britain to attempt the same route which Shackleton drew with his own hand. Although there have been other traverses of Antarctica, Shackleton’s route has never been completed. The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Centenary Expedition 2014 (ITACE 2014) is the only team to have had the backing of Great Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Granddaughter, The Honourable Alexandra Shackleton.
The ITACE 2014 team will be the first to complete the route and will ski over 2,500km, dragging 90kg of provisions on sledges through some of the most inhospitable conditions in the world. They will operate in temperatures of -40 degrees Celsius and winds of up to 150km per hour. Aiming to complete before the darkness of the Antarctic winter sets in, they have given themselves a maximum of one hundred days to complete the journey.
Jöttnar is proud to have been selected as the team’s clothing provider as they attempt to complete Shackelton’s unfinished business.
Jo Davies is a world record holder and experienced adventurer having rowed across the Atlantic and skied across Greenland. Shackleton has always been one her heroes and has dreamed of carrying out the goals of the great man for many years.
Zac Poulton is a 36-year-old Expedition Guide and Mountaineering Instructor (MIC) from the Lake District. In 2011 he led a successful expedition to the North side of Everest which put 18 climbers, including himself, on the summit.
Stewart Stirling is the oldest member of the team and will be 50 when they set out in November 2014. He was born and brought up in Dundee, Scotland, before leaving for London at 17 for a career in the Metropolitan Police. On retirement he is now a freelance Mountain and Expedition Guide.
Ian Prickett is a 34 year old self-confessed travel and adventure addict. He has just returned from ‘down south’ as an important part of Ranulph Fiennes ‘Coldest Journey‘, an expedition which planned to make the first winter crossing of the continent.
Born in Edmonton, Canada, Pamela Brown makes this a truly British Commonwealth Team. She has competed at International level in dressage, show jumping and three-day eventing. No stranger to the cold, she is a Yukon Park Ranger as well as an accomplished endurance racer.
The team have spent New Year in Norway and will be training in the Cairngorms throughout February. They’re off to Greenland in April/May and then fly down to Punta Arenas, Chile, in October to begin final preparations.
We’ll be updating our blog as they progress and you can read in detail about the team and its plans on their website here: http://www.south2014.com/