Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Sunday, 27 April 2008 12:42 UK

Descendants train for Pole trek

 From left Will Gow, Henry Worsley and Henry Adams
The men have been training for the trek for about four years

Descendants of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team are training in gruelling conditions for a bid to complete their ancestors' failed South Pole trek.

The new expedition is being led by Lt Col Henry Worsley, a relation of Frank Worsley, the skipper on Shackleton's ship The Endurance.

Col Worsley, 47, from Hereford, and two team mates said they are taking part in a "full dress rehearsal" in Greenland.

Their 80-day trek leaves in October - exactly 100 years after the original.

They aim to follow the same 900-mile route as their predecessors, and will face temperatures of -35C and headwinds of 50mph (80km/h).

Shakleton's crew, faced with dwindling rations and icy blizzards, were forced to turn back 97 miles (156km) from the South Pole on January 9 1909.

Col Worsely, shipping lawyer Henry Adams and city worker Will Gow, are training in Milne Land, an island just inside the Arctic circle, which they say mirrors the harsh conditions they are set to encounter.

Col Worsely said: "It offers us the right temperatures we're after and a bit of everything that will be thrown at us - it's got a number of glaciers, a little ice cap and some sea ice."

Their expedition is expected to launch a £10m Shackleton Foundation which will help fund other explorations.

'Mental challenge'

The men have been in training for about four years and aim to start putting on weight this summer in preparation for the trek.

Col Worsley added: "The physical side we can do. Like all these things, it will become a mental challenge as we progress."

Mr Gow, 35, from Ashford, Kent, is related to Shackleton by marriage and Mr Adams, from Snape, Suffolk, is a great-grandson of Jameson Boyd-Adams, who was with Shackleton on the unsuccessful trek.

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

They will meet three other team members 97 miles from the Pole, the point at which the original explorers had to turn back. These will include Shakleton's great-grandson Patrick Bergel, 36, from London.

Even though Shackleton failed in his bid to become the first person to reach the South Pole, he travelled further south than anyone else before and was knighted on his return home.




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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