British Explorer Plans Shackleton Solo, First Antarctic Crossing

We have covered lots of stories of thru-hikers completing long-distance journeys, often alone, but nothing as extreme as one British Army veteran who plans to complete the first ever solo crossing of Antarctica.

Known as the Shackleton Solo, Henry Worsley plans to cross country ski the 1,100 mile diameter of Antarctica in 75 days, retracing the famed route of Sir Ernest Shackleton, unassisted and by himself. If he completes the journey he’ll be the first to solo across the extreme southern continent.

Before he left England to stage for the journey in Chile, Worsley received an honorary send off from Prince William. The 55-year-old Worsley spent 36 years in the British Army and has devoted a considerable passion toward Shackleton’s personal story and other Antarctic explorers of which he has retraced routes.

In 2008, he led an expedition to commemorate the 1907-09 Nimrod journey by Shackleton, which ended 97 miles from the South Pole. Then in 2011, he lead another team of six adventurers in a race along the original 1912 route followed by explorers Captain Scott and Roald Amundsen in 1912, which led directly to the South Pole, according to Worsley’s bio on his web site. 

Now the extreme sportsman plans to retrace parts of Shackleton’s Endeavor expedition on his way to crossing the continent unassisted. The extreme feat also means he will be carrying all of the food and gear he’ll need for the entire journey. Most of his diet includes pancakes, chocolate, energy bars, waffels and other dehydrated rations. 

In an interview with the website ExplorersWeb, the 55-year-old Worsley talked about his preparation and the importance of taking care of his feet.

Frostbite is a self-inflicted wound. You will suffer for some of the way, but its worth it,” he told the website. 

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Photo credit: @Shackletonsolo