Shackleton Centenary Expedition

Chamonix 2008 February 27 2008

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Henry Worsley, Will Gow and Henry Adams will be heading off for Antarctica in October of this year so continuous training and preparation are crucial to the success of the Expedition. Here Will writes of the team's time in Chamonix, France:

"The 2 Henrys and I had a great week in Chamonix a couple of weeks ago. It was our last instructed training session and we hired Simon Abrahams as our instructor from Chamonix Experience. He has a huge experience of both climbing and guiding in the Antarctic.

The objective was to become totally comfortable and competent at traveling over glaciers and crevasse rescue since we will be spending between 2-3 weeks ascending the Beardmore Glacier in Antarctica. It is about 100 miles long; 40 miles wide and goes from 11,500 feet to sea level.

During our week's training we camped up on the glacier near the Aiguilles de Midi at about 3500m.


The first couple of days were focused on crevasse rescue techniques, where we covered all eventualities, including going into a crevasse with skis on and with the pulk (sledge) following. We used various anchor methods for the rescues including skis, ice screws, ice axes and body anchors.

During the second part of the week we concentrated on glacier travel where we skied roped up with our pulks. We also spent considerable time practicing pulling the pulks up steep inclines which was extremely painful, however it was great for the fitness and gave us a taste of how challenging the Beardmore could be.

We were extremely fortunate with the weather since we had 6 days without a single cloud in the sky. Lots of sunshine and good cold temperatures, around -25c, which was perfect for our instruction.


Our next trip is to Greenland for the dress rehearsal, where we will be on our own for the first time. We are spending 3 weeks traveling around Milne Land, which is a large island in Scoresby Sound on the East Coast of Greenland. We head out there on April 15th."

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