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The Crossing of Antarctica

Original Photographs from the Epic Journey that Fulfilled Shackleton's Dream

George Lowe, Huw Lewis-Jones

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A visually spectacular account of an epic expedition that made history, and a testament to endurance and fellowship in the wildest of places, with an introduction by Sir Ranulph Fiennes

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Antarctica: one of the coldest and most desolate locations on Earth, a desert of ice, much of it still unexplored even today. What can possibly draw people there? Yet Antarctica can also be enchanting, a land of beauty and unanticipated delight, and its siren song has always lured men and women to test themselves among its frozen wastes.

It was a journey long thought impossible. The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctica Expedition of 1957/58, led by Vivian ‘Bunny’ Fuchs, was one of the 20th century’s triumphs of exploration – a powerful expression of technological daring as much as a testament of sheer, bloody-minded human willpower. As a key member of the expedition, Everest veteran George Lowe was there to capture it all in photographs and on film.

A trove of unpublished images and other rare materials from the Lowe archive are brought together here for the first time, along with others from the Fuchs family collection. There has never been a book on Antarctica quite like this. Awe-inspiring landscapes, candid portraits and action shots evoke the day-by-day moments as the expedition travelled across snow and ice, facing extraordinary challenges and dangers.

The Crossing of Antarctica is a remarkable visual and personal testimony of a polar expedition that rewrote the history books and an epic journey of endurance and fellowship in the wildest of places.

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'It’s a wonderful thing that George Lowe’s words and pictures have been brought together for posterity'
The Times

'The Crossing of Antarctica is the most vivid way of reliving the Trans-Antarctic Expedition, short of mounting one of your own'

'Lowe’s powerful portraits of his colleagues and rare images of private moments during the crossing also provide a fascinating insight into the personal side of exploration'

'Every so often … a book breaks through the ice crust, and 'The Crossing of Antarctica' is one of these'
Literary Review

'Lowe’s photographs offer a humanizing look at the since-deified explorers, depicting their beards of ice and feasts of tinned vegetables for Christmas dinner … gives readers a visceral sense of just how raw and brutal the conditions were'
Fast Company

'A hundred years after Shackleton set out to traverse the great white continent, this beautifully produced volume celebrates those who succeeded where he failed'
Daily Telegraph

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 27.0 x 22.0 cm

Extent: 240 pp

Illustrations: 154

Publication date: 1 September 2014

ISBN: 9780500252024

Contents List

Prologue, A Forgotten Hero, Huw Lewis-Jones; Foreword, A Dream Fulfilled, Peter Fuchs and Jonathan Shackleton; Introduction, Brave Spirits, Sir Ranulph Fiennes • 1. The Map on the Wall • 2. Across the Ice • 3. Beyond the Horizon • 4. Reflections by Arved Fuchs, Sir Wally Herbert, Klaus Dodds, Geoff Somers, Børge Ousland, Felicity Aston, Eirik Sonneland, Sebastian Copeland, Jon Bowermaster, Ken Blaiklock • Epilogue, Footsteps in the Snow, Paul Dalrymple

About the Author

George Lowe is a New Zealand-born mountaineer, explorer, film director and educator.

Dr Huw Lewis-Jones is a historian of exploration with a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He was formerly Curator at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, and the National Maritime Museum, London. His books include The Conquest of Everest (winner of the History Award at the Banff Mountain Festival), The Crossing of Antarctica and Across the Arctic Ocean. He is the author, with Kari Herbert, of the bestseller Explorers’ Sketchbooks.

List of Contributors

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

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