The Shackleton Commemorative Route

View down the Shackleton Valley

Perhaps the greatest tale of hardship, endurance and courage in the Great Age of Exploration is that of Earnest Shackleton and his crew in the Endurance expedition. The British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition was crushed in the unforgiving ice in an unreachable wasteland, but every man survived to see home again, due to their unfailing, iron resolve to duty in spite of all the harshest continent and its seas could hurl at them. Rescue in the end depended on five men setting forth in a tiny boat across a thousand miles of churning sea to a dot in the ocean – South Georgia. By a miracle of navigation they found the island but as they approached the coast a hurricane swept upon them, a storm which sank great ships that same night, and yet they stayed and reached the shore, only for the boat, the James Caird, to be dashed upon the rocks: having come so far, they could not sail the last miles about the island to find the whaling stations and rescue.

There followed the last adventure: to cross the island on foot across mountains and glaciers, which no one had ever done before and very few ever since.

A route has been walked, by the toughest. It is known as the Shackleton Commemorative Walk.

Route map

Printed map