12 Feb 2013

Pair successfully recreate Shackleton expedition

8:47 pm on 12 February 2013

Two men have braved blizzards and eight-metre ocean swells to recreate Ernest Shackleton's epic Antarctic expedition in 1916.

Expedition leader Tim Jarvis and mountaineer Barry Gray took almost 20 days to complete the journey, across 800 nautical miles of the Southern Ocean from Elephant Island to South Georgia.

On Monday morning they reached an old whaling station at Stromness - the same location where Shackleton raised the alarm that the crew of the Endurance needed rescue in 1916.

Despite winds of 140km/h winds, the pair took 72 hours to cross the mountains of South Georgia, falling into crevasses 20 times. They will head to the site of Shackleton's grave later on Monday.

"Shackleton's motto was 'By endurance we conquer' and I think this was all about endurance," Jarvis told the ABC after reaching Stromness. "It was basically about deciding how much you're prepared to suffer."

Jarvis and Gray were part of a group of six who that left icebound Elephant Island, off continental Antarctica, on 24 January.

They sailed 800 nautical miles northeast to South Georgia in a wooden replica of the lifeboat that Shackleton used 97 years ago and were dressed in period clothing and navigating by the sun and stars.

Three members of the expedition dropped out through injury.

Shackleton's ship Endurance was trapped by ice and then sank part of the way through his 1914-17 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, leaving his entire group stranded on ice floes.

After two months adrift they reached Elephant Island and Shackleton, with a crew of five, set sail for South Georgia to raise the alarm.