Like many people, I enjoy a good adventure story, an epic in the classic and undiluted sense of the word. And when the story is true, a real exploration of the world, all the better.
‘The Coldest Journey’ is the name given to an expedition team setting out to complete one of the last major polar missions: a wintertime crossing of the Antarctic continent. Battling constant darkness and temperatures that may reach as low as 80 to 90 degrees Celsius, it’s a task that has defied completion for very good reasons. The team is prepared to be completely self-sufficient (due to the darkness and the temperatures, cold enough to freeze jet fuel, rescue is virtually impossible), and towards this end they will be bringing: 2 Caterpillar tractors, over 100000 liters of fuel, and enough food for a year.
The title of their expedition brings to mind another polar epic: The Worst Journey in the World (find it at Project Gutenberg here). It was written by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, a young explorer that was a part of Robert Scott’s ill-fated attempt to reach the South Pole. In 1911, Cherry-Garrard ventured out with two others to attain some Emperor penguin eggs for scientific study, and in 1912 he was part of the team responsible for laying supply depots for Scott’s team.