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British explorer to traverse Antarctica alone

A 55-year-old British explorer is attempting to traverse the entire continent of Antarctica alone.

Henry Worsley is on Day 4 of the long journey, which totals 1,100 miles. He won’t be the first to do it alone, but, if successful, he will be the first to do it without the help of tractors, dogs or fuel and air drops.

Five years ago, Cecilie Skog and Ryan Waters were the first to complete the trip unsupported as a pair.

Worsley has given himself 80 days to complete the task, which means he needs to log just fewer than 14 miles a day. It’s currently summer in Antarctica, meaning temperatures will hover just above freezing.

The expedition has been dubbed the Shackleton Solo after British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, who survived a harrowing two-year journey 100 years ago.

Shackleton had a crew of 28 and intended to explore Antarctica. His ship, Endurance, became trapped, forcing the crew into an epic journey of survival.

Every single crewmember survived and eventually was brought to Punta Arenas, Chile, after Shackleton took a 920-mile boat trip across the ocean to seek help.

“I want the success or failure of this thing entirely in my own hands,” Worsley told National Geographic about why he’s embarking alone. “What’s dawning on me right now as I’m sitting here in my hotel room on my own is that the solo aspect of this journey actually starts the moment you say goodbye to your loved ones at the airport.”

Worsley checks in every 24 hours to the Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions base, where a light aircraft and doctor are on call in case he doesn’t make contact for two consecutive calls.

He is documenting the journey online at shackletonsolo.org and hopes to raise $150,000 for the Endeavor Fund, which supports wounded English servicemen and servicewomen.

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