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Stephen Venables in South Georgia

Posted on September 21st, 2008
Steven Venables

Beyond Endurance South Georgia Expedition 2008

Stephen Venables returned recently from his third visit to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. His first expedition, during the southern summer of 1989-90, made the first ascent of Mount Carse; then in 2000 he joined Conrad Anker and Reinhold Messner to retrace Shackleton’s famous traverse of the South Georgia glaciers, for the making of the IMAX movie Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure.

Describing his most recent trip, in October 2008, he said:

“What a treat to go back again to that magical island. There is something very special about glaciated mountains rising straight out of the ocean, not to mention the beaches crowded with penguins, seals and albatrosses. This time I fulfilled a long-standing dream by getting to South Georgia in a yacht, sailing the 750 miles from the Falklands in Skip Novak’s Pelagic Australis. Skip is a mountaineer as well as being one of the world’s most experienced round-the-world yachtsmen. He and I were hired as consultants to the ‘Beyond Endurance’ expedition, leading the team on the Shackleton Traverse. By doing the traverse in October, early in the southern spring, we were able to ski virtually the whole route, towing gear in pulks. The seven of us used two Terra Firma tents. Although on this occasion we were incredibly lucky with the weather, we took the precaution of taking double pole sets. We also had heavy duty snow valances. South Georgia often gets hit by some of the meanest weather on the planet. Its winds are notorious and on my first expedition Terra Nova tents were the only ones to survive, so Terra Nova was the obvious choice this time.”

The pictures below are taken from the Beyond Endurance trip, and appear courtesy of Stephen Venables and

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