Shackleton’s Expedition

Alex Ge
3 min readFeb 18, 2019

Do you know who Shackleton was? If not, you will learn all about him and his famous South Pole journey! Ernest Shackleton is a famous South Pole Explorer who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was born on 2/15/1874 and died on 1/15/1922.He is remembered for many reasons including crossing through 700 miles of pack ice (thick ice), surviving in temperatures 49 degrees below zero, and making it through with all 28 people surviving. He did this between 1901 and 1904. Although he did not make it to the South Pole or across the whole continent Antarctica, he is still a very skilled well remembered person.

There are many reasons why Shackleton is remembered. One of them is sailing through 700 miles of pack ice with a small wooden ship named the Endurance. Shackleton had found the ship selling at a fraction of the original price, so he bought it for 11,500 euros. It was originally named the Polaris, but Shackleton renamed it to be “Endurance”, in memory of his family’s motto, “by endurance we conquer”. He had no support and was on his own with 28 men, 69 dogs, and many provisions and tools. After the ice surrounded the ship and had them stranded as the only humans on the Antarctic continent, they still found ways to survive and return to England. He and his crew successfully got out of the ship with no deaths.

With no help and limited supplies, everyday his crew’s condition got worse. As months passed, the supplies kept diminishing until there was only enough for a few more weeks. Conditions eventually got stressed and pressured that Shackleton and five crew members had to leave the main group to find help. The large Ice floe that was part of the pack ice piece that the endurance failed to conquer, was breaking into smaller and smaller pieces. This added to the stress.

They survived with a handful of good ideas by different crew members: The painter, photographer, and carpenter. The painter overturned one of the rowboats they made to get to Elephant island after the ice floe broke to make a small shelter. With some small modifications, they got the oven working and it housed around ten people. The photographer gave the idea of sailing to South Georgia to try and get help, since no ships sailed more south of South Georgia. The carpenter fixed the hundreds of small leaks and holes in the hull of the endurance.

When Shackleton and his five crew members were at South Georgia, they faced many dangers. For example, Glaciers barred their way to the northern beach, so they had to scale those. They also had to row a rowboat to South Georgia even though the route was not recommended and was marked dangerous for ice-breaking ships such as the Endurance.

Overall, Shackleton and his crew survived a miraculous yet disastrous journey. It lasted a few years. This story is for everyone to read and remember Shackleton’s journey, across the Pack ice and ice shelves of the cold, freezing Antarctica where Temperatures almost never rise above zero. He made it through more than 700 miles of pack ice, survived in below freezing temperatures, and having no deaths other than a few dogs.