Shackleton descendants to restage South Pole journey
Wednesday 27 August 2008
Descendants of Sir Ernest Shackleton are trying to recruit a final explorer to help them replicate their ancestor's journey to the South Pole.
Legend has it Sir Ernest recruited his expedition members with an ad promising "small wages", "constant danger" and a "doubtful safe return".
A century later, the new team wants someone with a "relentless passion to succeed" and a supply of "good jokes". They will also have to be fit and their cup must always be "half-full".
The Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer Shackleton, best known for leading the Endurance expedition of 1914-16, never made it to the South Pole. But he came close to being the first on his 1908-09 Nimrod mission.
Shackleton died of a heart attack off the Atlantic island of South Georgia in 1922.
Aiming to finish the task, the 21st-century expedition is being led by Lt-Col Henry Worsley, a relative of Frank Worsley, the skipper on Endurance. Their 80-day trek leaves in October – exactly 100 years after the Nimrod expedition.
They will follow the same 900-mile route as their predecessors, and will face temperatures of -35C and headwinds of 50mph. Candidates applying for the seventh and final place on the Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition do not need a family connection or previous polar expedition experience.
Lt-Col Worsley, 47, from Hereford, said: "The type of person we will be looking for is someone whose cup is always half-full, never half-empty. Someone who can laugh at themselves, a strong team player who sees this as a lifetime opportunity and can tell a good joke to keep spirits up. Above all else we want a candidate with a relentless passion to succeed whatever the adversity."
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