Emotionally and physically drained from his expedition, Henry Worsley’s final message conveys his devastation at having to bring his expedition to an end just miles from his destination.
The explorer, 55, died of complete organ failure after being airlifted to hospital on Friday, just 30 miles away from completing his 1,000-mile mission.
What was initially suspected to be dehydration was diagnosed as bacterial peritonitis, a serious infection which causes tissue lining the abdomen to become inflammed.
Worsley recorded his unaided attempted to travel across Antarctica in a series of audio messages and selfies, where he appeared increasingly weak.
In an affecting final audio message, Worsley explains how he has been forced to end it just out of reach of the summit, comparing his experience to that of his hero, Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose journey he was desperately trying to complete.
“Greetings everybody. It’s Friday the 22nd of January. Day 70,” he begins. “When my hero, Ernest Shackleton, walked 97 miles, from the South Pole on the morning of 9 January 1909, he said he’d shot his bolt.
“Well today, I have to inform you with some sadness that I too have shot my bolt. My journey is at an end. I have run out of time, physical endurance, and a simple sheer inability to slide one ski in front of the other, to travel the distance required to reach my goal.
“Many mountaineers battle away and fail to reach the summit. My summit is just out of reach."
His messaged also conveyed a characteristic determination to heal and overcome his dismay. Sadly, he died in a Chilean hospital just a couple of days later.
“I’ve spent 70 days on my own in a place I love. Travelled 900 statute miles. Just missed the final 1 per cent of a journey I set out on. No matter. I’ll lick my wounds. I will heal over time. And I will come to terms with the disappointment.
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