South Georgia Expedtion
In the footsteps of Shackleton
10.mar the 25.abr.2017
Another big challenge Mistralis. Now for true adventurers who want to feel some of the emotions that one of the greatest leaders of modern times has ever faced: the crossing of South Georgia walk!
Zarparemos of Puerto Williams and follow about 1100 nautical miles, possibly a 10-day trip to the landing of our brave crew members / climbers. There under the command of Thomas Brandolin the team will follow the high mountains of Georgia, about 5 days to the old whaling station.
After a short rest, we will continue navigating another 1,800 nautical miles, about 16 days to Rio de Janeiro.
The Challenge for Thomaz Brandolin:
CROSSING SHACKLETON – SOUTH GEORGIA
When I first read the book “The Incredible Shackleton’s Journey” by Alfred Lansing in 1992 was a shock! I could not put the book of 280 pages while not finished reading!
This is the first modern report of epic journey to Antarctica – one of the last of the heroic era – of what has become one of the most famous explorers of all time, and such “classic” leadership in lectures around the world.
The British had lost the “race” for the South Pole conquest for Norwegian few years before, so Ernest Shackleton decided to try one of the last gain still left for explorers: the first crossing on foot from across Antarctica, through the South Pole .
He gathered his men in Endurance and in 1914 left for the South Atlantic. But they never arrived in Antarctica. In early January 1915 the ship was trapped by ice near the coast, virtually condemning to death his men. After traveling hundreds of kilometers drifting to the north, the Weddell Sea, the ship ended up being crushed by ice and a month later – in November of that year – sank, leaving his crew of 28 men adrift on the ice by 5 more months. After traveling hundreds of kilometers across the ice finally in April 1916 they managed to put the scalar at sea and reached the remote Elephant Island.
A few days later, Shackleton and another 5 men left the small (22 feet) James Caird to a hard and risky journey of 16 days and 1300 km in a desperate attempt to reach the inhospitable South Georgia island, and organize a rescue of others. Thanks to the brilliant navigation Frank Worsley, then arrived in this uncharted island, 30 km long, covered with glaciers and mountains with almost 3000 meters of altitude.
But they arrived at the “wrong” side of the island. So, 3 of them (Shackleton, Tom Crean and Frank Worsley), with no experience, equipment or climbing clothing, had to make the crossing by glaciers and mountains to the Norwegian whaling station Stromness across the island.
When the explorer – absolutely exhausted, without bath for two years, with blackened face, long hair and hardened by salt, and the filthy clothes and frazzled – finally hit the head of the door station and introduced himself, the man fell in tears. I was sure that Shackleton and his men were dead.
The fact is that this historical crossing, 45 km away, which was not done for sport, but for the lives of 28 men, it became one of the most classic trekking and coveted the world.
But it’s not for everyone! The remote South Georgia is so isolated that are … days of non-stop sailing to its shores. And it is this opportunity that we are offering now in the Brazilian market: – a sailing trip to the island and logistical support and a professional mountain guide for this historic crossing!
Besides the possibility of spotting penguins, seals, whales, albatrosses and icebergs, and of course, where Shackleton is buried, we have the boat ready for possible redemptions in the event of any unforeseen.
HOW IS THE CROSSING
Haakon Bay to Stromness from the crossing 3-5 days goes by in a beautiful, untouched alpine relief. Much of the walk takes place in snowfields and glaciers, with no major technical difficulties, and ends a long sandy beach. The highest point of the route is the Trident edge, which reaches 1200 meters of altitude. The walk can be done with snowshoes or skis to “seal skin” coupled, since at any time there are slopes to skiing down (the same as is sought). Although little risk of cracks, just walk down the glacier requires all walk connected by strings.
What is required of those who want to make this crossing is physically fit and experience camping in the snow. The greatest difficulty will always be rough, violent and unpredictable weather. South Georgia is famous for having one of the worst on the planet. Storms often so fierce that may even, in extreme cases, derail the crossing.
Part of the trip charm is what comes next: a tour of other parts of the island with the boat, including the King Penguin of rocks on the Gold Creek and the Salisbury Plain, home to thousands of animals, including penguins, elephant seals and fur seals, living in full and noisy harmony (or disharmony lol) without any human interference. In addition to historical sites (old whaling stations) and the beautiful Drygalski Fjord.
The journey begins with a sailboat boat ride to the Peggotty Course (in honor of the houseboat of Dickens’s work), where Shackleton boat docked at the bottom of Bay King Haakon, bordered north and south by steep mountains surrounded by glaciers. From there the path runs just over 1 km along the beach to start climbing toward a small saddle that separates Haakon Bay Baia Possession, called Shackleton Gap. But the route does not get in the saddle. Just before I turn southeast to cross the Field of Snow Murray, who rises mild to 1070 meters, to the edge Trident, described by Shackleton as a barrier 5 rocky cliffs that resemble the fingers, through which the way. Most expeditions little camp before crossing that edge, since the 12.8 km of the Bay Haakon.
Shackleton wrote that crossed the Trident the cervix on the extreme left, but nowadays the teams use the third lap from the left, the lowest of the four is considered the easiest. In step has an impressive view of the Crean Glacier, Antarctica’s Bay and, further away, the Southern Ocean. The path descends about 300 meters to the Crean Glacier – a region usually swept by strong winds – that is crossed for a few kilometers until close to what Shackleton called Great Nunatak a giant pontoon rock that juts out of the glacier. There should mount our second camp, 15 km from Trident edge.
On the third day it is made the crossing of the Great Nunatak to the Bay Fortuna, crossing the whole long stretch of Fortuna Glacier. A few kilometers after the nunatak sees the wreckage of a British helicopter that crashed during the Falklands war. The beach at Fortuna Bay – which usually mounts the third camp is 11 km from Great Nunatak.
The path then goes to the deepest part of the bay, through the water (you can get in at the waist) a stream running down from the Konig Glacier, and up a gentle snow slope to the saddle separating the Fortuna Bay Bay Stromness – which can already be spotted.
The path from here is a straight line. It was in this section that Shackleton and his two companions, almost in winter – and exhausted to think of a better solution – made a rappel 5 meters down a waterfall. Today the route is an easy detour and arrive at the beach of the Bay. Half-hour walk leads to the already old station, 6 km from the last camp.
If today the station is long abandoned, giving you a certain aspect of “concentration camp”, in 1916 it meant “civilization” !! It was there that the three British ended (after 36 hours almost non-stop) perhaps the most intense struggle for life ever documented.
The residence of the head of the station was restored, as if to preserve the port on which Shackleton hit by Mr. Sorlle asking: “Do you know me? My name is Shackleton ”
São Paulo, 15 / November / 2015.
Text Thomaz Brandolin
Translated and inspired from the books “Classic Hikes of the World” by Peter Potterfield; and “Endurance” by Caroline Alexander.
Please send email to FELIPE CAIRE and get all your questions.
Value: $ 7,000