Three members of a planned 2014 Antarctic expedition honoring the 100th anniversary of Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition described their expedition at the Explorers Club Washington Group’s dinner Saturday, Feb. 23, 2012 at the Cosmos Club.
Their talk was entitled: “By Endurance We Conquer: Ernest Shackleton and Lessons of Leadership for the Imperial Trans Antarctic Centenary Expedition 2014” (ITACE).
The team of six men and women plan to cross Antarctica from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea via the South Pole. The journey will be in celebration of the centenary of one of the greatest explorers in Polar history – Sir Ernest Shackleton. The aim is to follow in the proposed footsteps of the great man who intended to cross the continent on this route. The route has never been accomplished.
Shackleton’s plan; its failure, and a great survival story
In 1914 Shackleton and his party sailed from England on the ship Endurance to land on Antarctica’s Weddell Sea Coast, and head for the South Pole. From the Pole, they would continue north to the Beardmore Glacier, where they would meet the expedition’s Ross Sea party, which had sailed there in the ship Aurora. This party would lay supply depots from Ross Island to the glacier.
Instead, sea ice trapped the Endurance on January 18, 1915. In late October the ice began crushing the ship, and on October 27, 1915, Shackleton and the 27 other men on board abandoned the ship, thus beginning one of the world’s greatest polar and sea survival stories.
Feb. 23 Dinner Speakers
Those who talked about the planned 2014 expedition were:
U.S. Liaison Glenn “Marty” Stein, will act as Education Co-coordinator in the U.S. He was born in Miami, Florida, and now lives just outside Orlando. He has researched maritime and polar history since 1975, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and minor in History from the University of Florida. Glenn’s writings regularly appear in journals and magazines, having published over 50 articles to date. He was website polar historian for the International Polar Year 2007-2008.
Expedition Leader, Joanne “Jo” Davies is an experienced adventurer having rowed across the Atlantic in 2007. She was born in 1978 in Kenya, and studied Marine Geography at Cardiff University. As a rower, sailor and kayaker Davies not only spends her free time on the water but works offshore as a Hydrographic Surveyor in the oil industry. In 2009 she took part in an expedition skiing across Greenland from West to East Coast which gave her a good taste of things to come in Antarctica. After rowing the Atlantic she thinks that anything is achievable and has set her sights on her one true ambition in life; to ski to the South Pole.
Team Member Stewart Stirling, was born and brought up in Dundee, Scotland where he attended Morgan Academy before leaving for London at 17 for a police career. He has served 29 years with both the Metropolitan Police and Heddlu Gwent Police in southeast Wales, where he is now a Forensic Collision Investigator. The outdoors has always played a big part in his life since he was introduced to the Scottish Highlands as a boy. Later he was commissioned as an Officer in the Territorial Army and also gained his Mountain Leader Qualifications. In 2005 he took part in the Chemin de la Liberte expedition across the Pyrenees and in 2007 Stirling followed this up in an unsupported expedition crossing the Pyrenees Haute Route from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea, 500 miles and 150,000 feet of ascent in 48 days.
The expedition will begin in October or November 2014, the beginning of the Southern Hemisphere summer. The purpose is to make the crossing as Shackleton intended; he viewed it as the last great polar journey after expeditions led by Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott had reached the South Pole in 1911 and 1912.