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The trek had begun at nearly sea level, and he’d been ascending with a merciless steadiness, the air thinning and his nose sometimes bleeding from the pressure; a crimson mist colored the snow along his path. Worsley was a retired British Army officer who had served in the Special Air Service, a renowned commando unit.

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Some are actuated simply by a love of adventure, some have the keen thirst for scientific knowledge, and others again are drawn away from the trodden paths by the ‘lure of little voices,’ the mysterious fascination of the unknown.” The book was illustrated with photographs from the expedition, and Worsley stared at them in wonder.

There was the hut, crammed with a stove and canned goods and a phonograph, where Shackleton and his men had wintered on Ross Island, off the coast of Antarctica.

To Henry, his father often seemed like a Biblical force: commanding, revered, looming but absent.

A relative recalled, “Henry barely saw his dad, and when he did it was, like, shaking his hand.

It was hard to breathe, and each time he exhaled the moisture froze on his face: a chandelier of crystals hung from his beard; his eyebrows were encased like preserved specimens; his eyelashes cracked when he blinked. The temperature was nearly minus forty degrees Fahrenheit, and it felt far colder because of the wind, which sometimes whipped icy particles into a blinding cloud, making him so disoriented that he toppled over, his bones rattling against the ground. Sixty-two days earlier, on November 13, 2015, he’d set out from the coast of Antarctica, hoping to achieve what his hero, Ernest Shackleton, had failed to do a century earlier: to trek on foot from one side of the continent to the other.

According to his coördinates, he was on the Titan Dome, an ice formation near the South Pole that rises more than ten thousand feet above sea level.Every few days, he checked on them, jotting down in a notebook how many eggs had been laid, or how fast the hatchlings were growing.He had little interest in his classroom studies, but he often disappeared into the library and read poetry and tales of adventure.In his diary, he wrote, “Am worried about my fingers—one tip of little finger already gone and all others very sore.” One of his front teeth had broken off, and the wind whistled through the gap. Yet he was never one to give up, and adhered to the S. S.’s unofficial motto, “Always a little further”—a line from James Elroy Flecker’s 1913 poem “The Golden Journey to Samarkand.” The motto was painted on the front of Worsley’s sled, and he murmured it to himself like a mantra: “Always a little further . He was so close to what he liked to call a “rendezvous with history.” Yet how much farther could he press on before the cold consumed him?He had lost some forty pounds, and he became fixated on his favorite foods, listing them for his broadcast listeners: “Fish pie, brown bread, double cream, steaks and chips, more chips, smoked salmon, baked potato, eggs, rice pudding, Dairy Milk chocolate, tomatoes, bananas, apples, anchovies, Shredded Wheat, Weetabix, brown sugar, peanut butter, honey, toast, pasta, pizza and pizza. He had studied with devotion the decision-making of Shackleton, whose ability to escape mortal danger was legendary, and who had famously saved the life of his entire crew when an expedition went awry.Each day, after trekking for several hours and burrowing into his tent, he relayed a short audio broadcast about his experiences.

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