on 20 January 2010
Rainer Goldsmith was the doctor for the advance team of the Hillary-Fuchs expedition in the 1950s to cross, for the first time, the entire Antarctic Continent--from the Weddell Sea to McMurdo Sound. Shortly after being dropped off by the supply ship with their supplies to winter over and prepare for the main expedition coming the next summer, a horrific storm carried away 90% of their supplies. There was no way to get replenishments until the following summer. They spent the rest of the Antarctic Winter in an overturned tractor crate--and with no way to wash clothes, they wore the same clothes for about nine months. While travelling with him on a subsequent Antarctic visit (fortunately much more civilized) he described his year in the "crate" (now recounted in this book) illustrated with many pictures. (Surprisingly, the worst times were the few days the temperature outside was a couple of degrees above freezing--the accumulated ice on the ceiling and walls of the "crate" began melting drenching them with near freezing water.)
It is an amazing account and well worth reading.
on 17 February 2013
I guess I'm biassed, because I'm lucky enough to count Rainer Goldsmith among my friends. This book, based on Rainers diaries, is a fascinating account of an almost forgotten episode of antarctic exploration. I bought a copy some while ago for myself and this copy was bought as a present to my daughter, who is enjoying reading it. It describes in some detail the hardships endured by this advance party of 8 people as they grappled against all that antarertic weather and inadequate equipment could throw at them. Quips like "Quite warm today - minus 20 C" get one thinking. Rainer assures me that it DID actually feel quite warm.