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Alone on the Ice

The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration

David Roberts (Author)

 

His two companions dead, food and supplies vanished in a crevasse, Douglas Mawson was still one hundred miles from camp.

On January 17, 1913, alone and near starvation, Douglas Mawson, leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, was hauling a sledge to get back to base camp. The dogs were gone. Now Mawson himself plunged through a snow bridge, dangling over an abyss by the sledge harness. A line of poetry gave him the will to haul himself back to the surface.

Mawson was sometimes reduced to crawling, and one night he discovered that the soles of his feet had completely detached from the flesh beneath. On February 8, when he staggered back to base, his features unrecognizably skeletal, the first teammate to reach him blurted out, “Which one are you?”

This thrilling and almost unbelievable account establishes Mawson in his rightful place as one of the greatest polar explorers and expedition leaders. It is illustrated by a trove of Frank Hurley’s famous Antarctic photographs, many never before published in the United States.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • January 2013
  • ISBN 978-0-393-24016-0
  • 6.6 × 9.6 in / 368 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverAlone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration

    Paperback

Endorsements & Reviews

“An important missing story from the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, this book will steal the night from you. Gripping and superb.” — Laurence Gonzales, author of Surviving Survival

“A fresh and thoroughly researched account of Doulas Mawson's epic journey of self-rescue across one of the most inhospitable regions known to man. Roberts takes the reader alongside the men of the 1912 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, and the desperation of Mawson’s sledge journey can be well imagined step by frigid step.” — Ed Viesturs, author of K2: Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain

“Others have written the loose outlines of Douglas Mawson’s astonishing survival against the worst conditions that Antarctica can deliver—a lesser-known but equally compelling epic as that of Ernest Shackleton—but Roberts’s telling trumps them all.” — Gordon Wiltsie, author of To the Ends of the Earth

“This is Roberts at his best, telling a little-known tale of adventure, tragedy, and endurance. Mawson may be the most famous Australian explorer, and Alone on the Ice is an admirable introduction of him to American readers.” — Greg Child, author of Over the Edge

“An accurate and enthralling account of the greatest story of polar exploration and survival. Roberts takes the reader back to a time of hardship, collective friendship, and a level of determination unknown in todays culture. This book will make you cherish every meal and the joys of a warm bed.” — Conrad Anker, coauthor of The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mt. Everest

“If you like frostbite-inducing weather and death-defying adventure stories, then award-winning author David Roberts gives you what you want: a wonderfully told, impressively researched tale of brave explorers confronting Antarctic blizzards, a deadly landscape pockmarked with deep crevasses and intrepid men trying to come back alive.” — Chuck Leddy, Minneapolis Star Tribune

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  1. Book CoverPoints Unknown: The Greatest Adventure Writing of the Twentieth Century

    Paperback