Five days behind Shackleton
Published on 29.12.2008 - Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition
The members of the Matrix Shackleton Centenary expedition have fallen behind the famous explorer's schedule, but they should be able to make up the time without too much difficulty.
When embarking on an enterprise of this type (i.e. re-enacting part of polar history), there are a number of deadlines to be met that other expeditions do not have to worry about.
In this particular case, they don't want to arrive after the fateful date of 9th January, which turned out to be a memorable day for the Nimrod expedition in 1908. Because it was on that date that Shackleton took the decision to abandon his attempt and turn back, effectively turning his back on any chance of reaching the Pole. The trouble is, today's men are five day's behind Shackleton's schedule. So, what can they do about it? Not worry too much about the delay, they say. Because once they are on the plateau, they will be able to go faster than the great explorer, who took a slightly different route, one with more crevasses, than the route the Matrix Shackleton Centenary expedition plans to take...
But for the time being, the men are too preoccupied by the fact that they have just completed the climb of Beardmore Glacier, which has been one of the finest parts of the expedition thus far. Not only because they managed brilliantly throughout the climb, but also they will long remember the fact that in the century between the great Shackleton's Nimrod expedition and themselves today, no-one has taken that particular path to exit the polar plateau or even to reach it.
They are currently doing three nautical miles a day more than the average required to cover the distance that will see them arrive in time at mile 97.