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Last Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007, 12:41 GMT
Descendants hoping to finish trek
Sir Ernest Shackleton
Sir Ernest Shackleton wanted to be the first to reach the South Pole
Descendants of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team are hoping to make the trek to the South Pole that their ancestors never completed.

The new expedition, taking place exactly 100 years after the original, is being led by Lt Col Henry Worsley.

Col Worsley, 46, from Hereford, is related to Frank Worsley, the skipper on Shackleton's ship The Endurance.

The other five modern-day explorers come from London, West Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and Suffolk.

The adventurers will face temperatures of -35C and headwinds of 50mph (80km/h) as they haul 300lb (136 kg) sledges on skis for up to 10 hours a day.

Three of them will tackle the same 900-mile (1,448km) route as Shackleton's crew, which is expected to take them 80 days.

They will meet the others 97 miles (156km) from the South Pole, the point at which the original explorers had to turn back in January 1909 because of icy blizzards and a lack of rations.

'Team dynamics'

Shackleton had wanted to become the first person to reach the South Pole when he set out on his Nimrod expedition.

However, even though he failed he still travelled further south than anyone else before and was knighted on his return back home.

Lt Col Henry Worsley
Lt Col Worsley said he was a "Shackleton obsessive"

The new adventurers include Shackleton's great-grandson 36-year-old Patrick Bergel, who works in advertising in London.

The great-great nephew of Frank Wild, the only explorer to accompany Shackleton on all his missions, will also be there.

Tim Fright, 24, from Billingshurst, West Sussex, is studying for an MA at King's College London.

Lt Col Worsley has described himself as a "Shackleton obsessive" and once slept beside the explorer's grave on the South Georgia Island.

He said: "One of the interesting things about this team is we don't really know each other - this is a selection from a gene pool.

"So the team dynamics become very interesting."

The first three will set out from the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf on 29 October, as Shackleton and his team did a century earlier.

SEE ALSO
Historic penguin sketches found
21 Dec 07 |  Science/Nature
Shackleton hut to be resurrected
18 Jan 05 |  Science/Nature

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