Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $4.83 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration Paperback – Illustrated, March 3, 2014
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
- Chuck Leddy, Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Impressively seamless and straightforward.”
- Christina Thompson, Boston Globe
“A chilling story…You feel the freezing temperatures, the fear, the desperation, along with the loyalty of the other Australasian Antarctic Expedition members.”
- Sandra Dallas, Denver Post
“In Alone on the Ice, Roberts, a veteran mountain climber and chronicler of adventures, admirably succeeds in restoring the luster that the Australian Antarctic Expedition and its leader deserve.”
- Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post
“A fresh and thoroughly researched account of Doulas Mawson's epic journey of self-rescue across one of the most inhospitable regions known to man. Roberts takes the reader alongside the men of the 1912 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, and the desperation of Mawson s sledge journey can be well imagined step by frigid step.”
- Ed Viesturs, author of K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain
“Others have written the loose outlines of Douglas Mawson's astonishing survival against the worst conditions that Antarctica can deliver a lesser-known but equally compelling epic as that of Ernest Shackleton but Roberts's telling trumps them all.”
- Gordon Wiltsie, author of To the Ends of the Earth
“This is Roberts at his best, telling a little-known tale of adventure, tragedy, and endurance. Mawson may be the most famous Australian explorer, and Alone on the Ice is an admirable introduction of him to American readers.”
- Greg Child, author of Over the Edge
“An accurate and enthralling account of the greatest story of polar exploration and survival. Roberts takes the reader back to a time of hardship, collective friendship, and a level of determination unknown in todays culture. This book will make you cherish every meal and the joys of a warm bed.”
- Conrad Anker, coauthor of The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mt. Everest
About the Author
- Item Weight : 11.5 ounces
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0393347788
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393347784
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (March 3, 2014)
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.3 inches
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #38,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
We've become soft in our modern lifestyles. I wonder if any of us could tolerate and handle the extremes they did over the length of time they spent cramped in tiny quarters or walking hundreds of miles in a frozen wasteland. I was surprised to learn they overwintered in Antarctica before they began their explorations the next summer and then were picked up in the fall to head home.
In "Alone on the Ice," David Roberts tells the true story of what Sir Edmund Hillary called "the greatest survival story in the history of exploration." Hillary was referring to the 1912 expedition of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson and his fellow members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE). Mawson and cohorts set out to explore Antarctica with the intention of gathering specimens and to make scientific observations of the continent. What has left Mawson's considerable accomplishments and amazing survival story obscured by the layers of newsprint and time is--unlike Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott--he wasn't a pole bagger. Mawson, never grabbed headlines by "summiting" the south pole. Mawson and the AAE's expedition went virtually unnoticed by the public.
Now, at the 100th year anniversary of the expedition, Roberts tells the story of Mawson, alone after his companions had died during the expedition, an expedition that saw them trek over 600 miles round trip while being face with 100 miles per hour winds, and left with little of their original provisions. Left as a lone explorer, Mawson was forced to make a ninety-five mile trek across the Antarctic Ice while battling extreme hunger, madness, and the deadly terrain of the continent.
During his trek Mawson often had to crawl as a result of losing the flesh from the soles of his feet. And at one point, he fell into a deadly crevice that would have likely killed almost anyone else. However, Mawson, inspired by a poem by Robert. W. Service, was able to extricate himself out of the crevice with what could only be considered superhuman strength, determination, and extraordinary will. Roberts tells Mawson's story well and has seemingly done his research thorough, including some great, rarely-seen photos (one of an iced-over face is bizarre, as is the shot of an explorer's contortions to stay upright in a 100-mile an hour wind). The photos are by Frank Hurley, who is famous from his Endurance photos.
In sum, this is a very engaging read. Robert's detailed description of Mawson's determination, perseverance, and courage gives Mawson the heroic recognition while provided classic adventure story entertainment.
Top reviews from other countries
I therefore became uninterested and stopped reading when it switched to a different expedition with different people.
Think you really need to be interested in this sort of thing to enjoy this book, but if your looking for a long complete survival story this is not it.
I thought this would be a story of one huge event, something like Touching the Void. Instead it seems to be focussing on multiple expeditions, with a pretty boring dry way of describing things. Might not bother reading any more of it
Douglas Mawson was a young geologist who would enjoy a lifelong association with Adelaide University. As an Antarctic explorer he earned his spurs on Shackleton's 1908 expedition aimed at reaching the South Pole, but as a scientist Mawson was interested in other things. Mawson's team on that trip was charged with getting as close as possible to the South Magnetic Pole which, unlike the fixed `true' pole, wanders considerably.
In 1912 Mawson returned with is own expedition at around the time Scott and Amundsen were racing each other to the South Pole. Mawson's aims were again scientific and geological, but he was also seeking to map as much as possible of the area of Antarctica closest to Australia. Sending part of his party to a separate departure point far to the west, he divided the main party into teams of three and, having overwintered, each set off to explore in different directions. Mawson's own team found itself in desperate trouble, the tale that is at the heart of `Alone on the Ice'. Even having survived appalling conditions in a crevasses-riddled landscape, with limited gear and dwindling rations, the endlessly determined and self-reliant Mawson found on his return to base new adversities waiting for him.
Mawson had with him in 1912-13 two men who played an important part in the golden age of Anatarctic exploration. One was Frank Wild, an Englishman who had been with Scott's 'Discovery' expedition and with Shackelton and Mawson in 1908. Put in charge of Mawson's western party, Wild would become even more famous as part of Shackleton's marathon trials of 1914-17. The other man was a young Australian photographer, Frank Hurley, whose photographs are well reproduced in this book and whose record of Shackleton's later expedition would set the seal on its fame.
The book cries out for a proper map of Antarctica, but in telling this thrilling tale for a new generation of readers, and putting it into context, the author has done the memory of Douglas Mawson a great service.
Chillingly told, with unbelievable, against-the-odds survival and scientific discovery, this book really captures the heroism of a bygone era and raises the spectre of one of the great adventurers of all time.
Douglas Mawson deserves to better remembered and this book certainly shows the reader exactly why.
A humbling read.