The Home of the Blizzard: A True Story of Antarctic

The Home of the Blizzard: A True Story of Antarctic Survival [Reading] ➻ The Home of the Blizzard: A True Story of Antarctic Survival By Douglas Mawson – Thomashillier.co.uk The Home of the Blizzard is a tale of discovery and adventure, of pioneering deeds, great courage, heart stopping rescues and heroic endurance This is Mawson s own account of his years spent in sub ze The Home of the Blizzard is a tale of the Epub Þ of discovery and adventure, of pioneering deeds, great courage, heart stopping rescues and heroic endurance This is Mawson s own account of his years spent in sub zero temperatures and gale force winds At its heart is his epic sledge journey of, during which both his companions perished Told in a laconic but gripping style, this is the classic account of the struggle for survival of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition a journey which mapped of Antarctica than any The Home PDF or expedition before or since The photographs included in this book were taken on the expedition by Frank Hurley, later to achieve fame on Sir Ernest Shackleton s Endurance expedition.


10 thoughts on “The Home of the Blizzard: A True Story of Antarctic Survival

  1. Diane in Australia Diane in Australia says:

    I really enjoyed this book These men had courage The hardships they faced, way back in 1911, it boggles the mind No modern soft comforts for these men, they did it tough, very tough Also, I always enjoy the very understated way that many great men relate their experiences lolThe book covers the exploration, the scientific endeavours, bits about their meals, their clothing, their dogs well, everything Very interesting.If you like polar adventure, you d probably like this one.4 Stars I really enjoyed this book These men had courage The hardships they faced, way back in 1911, it boggles the mind No modern soft comforts for these men, they did it tough, very tough Also, I always enjoy the very understated way that many great men relate their experiences lolThe book covers the exploration, the scientific endeavours, bits about their meals, their clothing, their dogs well, everything Very interesting.If you like polar adventure, you d probably like this one.4 Stars Outstanding It definitely held my interest


  2. Chrissie Chrissie says:

    Antarctica is not a country, nor is it owned by other countries, yetthan twelve nations claim rights to portions of the land The largest claims belong to Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway and New Zealand Possession is regulated by the 1959 Antarctica Treaty The area is today being used for scientific research and as a nature reserve.This book documents the so named Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911 1914 in minute detail The expedition was Australian led Antarctica is not a country, nor is it owned by other countries, yetthan twelve nations claim rights to portions of the land The largest claims belong to Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway and New Zealand Possession is regulated by the 1959 Antarctica Treaty The area is today being used for scientific research and as a nature reserve.This book documents the so named Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911 1914 in minute detail The expedition was Australian led Its aim was exploration and scientific investigation The author was the expedition s leader He bases what he writes on his own journal entries and the journals written by other participants of the expedition s eighteen member team The team was composed of an assortment of scientists, experts in biology, cartography, geology and meteorology The expedition split up into different groups assigned to explore different islands and landmass areas The ship Aurora, with captain J.K Davis at its helm, transported the men, sled dogs, food and supplies to the respective areas, conducted ocean bottom soundings and at the expedition s end brought home the survivors Two had died.Is this an adventure tale In part Mawson and two other men made an exploratory mapping trip This legendary 1912 1913 sledge journey from their base camp in Adali land may rightly be classified as a tale of adventure Blinding blizzards, seemingly bottomless crevasses, innumerable and daunting ice formations, frostbite, diminishing food supplies, bouts of dysentery, ever recurring snow blindness, peeling skin, wet sleeping bags and clothing are what had to be dealt with The deaths of Mawson s two companions, Belgrave Ninnis and Xavier Mertz, and his own near death are accounted in full view spoiler In November 2012 the three men set off on a mapping trip On December 14, 2012, Ninnis died when he and their sledge carrying food and supplies slipped into a crevasse Then Mertz became ill His death is attributed to dietary deficiencies, starvation and psychological distress Ninnis and Mertz were close friends It was these two who had been in charge of all the dogs of the expedition When food supplies were lost with the sledge, Mertz and Mawson had no other choice but to slaughter and eat the dogs with them With Mertz s death on January 8, 1913, Mawson was forced to continue on alone By February 8, 2013, he had succeeded in struggling back to base camp Eventually he recovered hide spoiler Nevertheless, these sections make up only a small portion of the entire book Due to excessive detail and repetition, much of the text is in fact tedious The book was originally intended as documentation of a scientific expedition This was its prime purpose Wind velocities, metrological reports, siting of bird species and their respective varieties and number, daily food consumption lists recorded in ounces and half ounces and the umpteen lists of diminishing food supplies is hard to sit and listen to The whole becomes repetitive The descriptions of seals and penguins and nesting habits, an albatross or two, some sea lions and sea elephants are interesting, but one returns over and over again to the same information The ice formations are splendid, but after a while this too becomes tedious Soundings of the ocean bottom floor measured in fathoms and descriptions specifying whether it be mud or stones and then the size of these stones went beyond my curiosity Let me repeat, this is a book of scientific documentation For an arctic expert or polar enthusiast, sure, the book may be right down their alley, but the excessive and repetitive detail is going to drive an average reader batty Now, read the next paragraph This book is in fact an abridged version of the original document I, disliking abridgements, worried about picking the book up for this very reason My worries were groundless The book remains excessively detailed In 1915, it was published first as a two volume edition In 1930 it came out in an abridged one volume edition This, the abridged version, then came out in a facsimile edition in 1996 Maps, diagrams and photographs were included The audiobook version is based on the 1996 edition, but it has no accompanying PDF file No maps, none of the diagrams and no photos are included For a book such as this, these are essential The audiobook does provide a necessary wordlist It is placed at the beginning, immediately following numerous introductions and prefaces Each word is read through, one by one The absence of the maps, photos and diagrams and the difficulty of accessing the wordlist while listening make the audio version a poor choice.I am giving the book two stars It is OK I liked reading about the fauna there, on the ice I feel I now have a much better conception of how it is in the Antarctica during the different seasons, at least in the areas explored by the Australians Yet I did not come close to the men themselves, the explorers I never came to know who they really were There are few personal details of them I felt no connection to them By the book s end I was bored stiff I just wanted it to end Two stars is the most I can muster James Condon narrates the audiobook His reading is very good Always clear and easy to follow The pace is perfect He speaks with an English accent The narration I have given four stars


  3. Rusty Rusty says:

    This is without a doubt a five star read I learned so much about Antarctia as well as some new vocabulary These were the most vivid for me arite sharp ascending edge of a mountain , lead in this case, a narrow open water path in an ice floe or solid ice , neve compact snow in the process of becoming glacial ice, sastrugi irrigularaties in the snow due to wind as waves or ripples formed by hard winds , and nash refers to cormorants The expedition appears to have been blessed with good f This is without a doubt a five star read I learned so much about Antarctia as well as some new vocabulary These were the most vivid for me arite sharp ascending edge of a mountain , lead in this case, a narrow open water path in an ice floe or solid ice , neve compact snow in the process of becoming glacial ice, sastrugi irrigularaties in the snow due to wind as waves or ripples formed by hard winds , and nash refers to cormorants The expedition appears to have been blessed with good fortune to date I thought that the best narratives were written by Mawson So many wonderful observations are given about local wildlife which, of course, leave before winter wind, wind andwind and wonderful humorous tales about how the crew coped with all those shut in days Mawson is the leader of the expedition and such an accomplished writer that I feel as if I am swishing across the glacier crevices with them The first documented loss of a member of the 18 member party who falls into a bottomless crevice along with half of the dogs the strongest , half of the food all of the dog food , the tent and some important clothing occurs in Mawson s group Mawson s description of the incident is so vivid There is so much tales about the ship, Aurora, that took and brought them home and experiences from all the small exploring groups What a read


  4. Natalie Natalie says:

    I have been living under a rock How did I miss the story of to recreate Mawson s journey Or his book Mawson Life and Death in AntarcticaOr his award winning 90 minute documentary following the expedition that re enacted the polar survival journey of Sir Douglas Mawson This sensational headline from the time of Jarvis trip says it all Accused of eating a team mate to survive, he s the polar hero history chose to forget A century later, one remarkable man set out to prove Douglas Maw I have been living under a rock How did I miss the story of to recreate Mawson s journey Or his book Mawson Life and Death in AntarcticaOr his award winning 90 minute documentary following the expedition that re enacted the polar survival journey of Sir Douglas Mawson This sensational headline from the time of Jarvis trip says it all Accused of eating a team mate to survive, he s the polar hero history chose to forget A century later, one remarkable man set out to prove Douglas Mawson was innocent Interestingly, it never even occured to me after reading his memoir that Mawson cannibalized his fellow climbers I don t think I d give a damn if I found out he did, and I don t suppose they would either, but Jarvis trip is a quite a homage to this great explorer and I can t wait to readabout Mawson and what it was like to walk in his footsteps


  5. Lisa Lisa says:

    This is a compelling story of endurance, courage and determination on the most inhospitable continent on earth Mawson s recount tells of the wonder, excitement and horror of early Antarctic exploration in vivid detail today s reader can only marvel at how these scientists were able to manage living conditions in such a hostile environment and to set the standard of scientific achievement for future expeditions The first part of the tale covers how in 1912 a team of 18 men set up a base and le This is a compelling story of endurance, courage and determination on the most inhospitable continent on earth Mawson s recount tells of the wonder, excitement and horror of early Antarctic exploration in vivid detail today s reader can only marvel at how these scientists were able to manage living conditions in such a hostile environment and to set the standard of scientific achievement for future expeditions The first part of the tale covers how in 1912 a team of 18 men set up a base and learned to manage living in almost continuous blizzard conditions and winds of unimaginable strength With self deprecating humour Mawson explains how the Hut was built, a formidable task in itself how they cooked, cleaned and entertained themselves what they wore to protect themselves against the bitter cold how they took care of the sledge dogs and with a light touch for the general reader how they undertook the job of gathering scientific and cartographic data Using equipment and protective clothing that nearly a century later seems primitive, they were entirely self sufficient the ship Aurora having departed for its own perilous return journey through the icy waters to Hobart, Tasmania This section of the book is immensely readable, but it is the story of Mawson s epic sledge that is unputdownable After the men had spent nearly a year in the Hut, in November the weather improved, and the men split up into small teams to explore the area further afield Mawson, Mertz and Ninnis set out together, but only Mawson returned, having lost his companions in appalling circumstances He tells the tragic story of their deaths and his journey back to the base so vividly that it is unforgettable In Adelaide, South Australia, the museum has a special permanent exhibition about Mawson, Australia s greatest polar explorer Viewing the little wooden sledge that he used for his solo trek across the ice, brings into perspective the enormity of this man s battle against the elements His refusal to give into despair is inspiring The book comes with photos, maps and diagrams, as well as supplementary narratives from the other men on the expedition Highly recommended.Cross posted at Library Thing another review focussingon Mawson s heroic journey at I really, really like this book


  6. Elizabeth Krall Elizabeth Krall says:

    I was enthralled by this book I came across it during a visit to Mawson s Huts , a reproduction of the expedition s main base huts in Hobart, Tasmania, from where the expedition set forth on the Aurora in 1911 The hardcover version of the book on sale there had the advantage of photos and illustrations, but the disadvantage of being significantlyexpensive and much less portable, so I opted for the Kindle version.This extraordinary story is about discovery and science, but also about p I was enthralled by this book I came across it during a visit to Mawson s Huts , a reproduction of the expedition s main base huts in Hobart, Tasmania, from where the expedition set forth on the Aurora in 1911 The hardcover version of the book on sale there had the advantage of photos and illustrations, but the disadvantage of being significantlyexpensive and much less portable, so I opted for the Kindle version.This extraordinary story is about discovery and science, but also about people You cheer them on as they struggle against the incessant wind and cold, laugh at their jokes and home entertainments, and are warmed by their cameraderie and mutual care The deaths of Mertz and Ninnis, and Mawson s subsequent solo trek without food on foot back to camp, is appalling and heartwrenching reading Reading this book 115 years after the events it describes gives an interesting perspective Their equipment and material seem laughably inadequate, and yet clearly it did in fact meet the demands The actual writing still has elements of what to a modern reader can be rather stuffy Victorian phrasing, and the practice of putting words in quotation marks is odd Yet, that s part of the book s charm and authenticity.Mawson s prose is by turns poetic and matter of fact Other sections of the book are written by members of the teams based away from the main base, each man with his own personality and style The entire book is stuffed with detail, from clothing to food to building materials and scientific procedures I ve long admired the work of Frank Hurley the official photographer with the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, with Shackleton s later expedition, and with Australian forces during both world wars , so particularly enjoyed mention of him in the book.Although this is an extremely long book, I didn t want it to end I even read the many appendices with their detailed lists to eke out the experience I found the book and its stories so engrossing and immediate that it was something of a shock to realise that most of the men I had come to know had died before I was born


  7. Matthew Sutton Matthew Sutton says:

    One of the great accounts of polar exploration ever written Mawson s book ranks amongst the top three classic works about Antarctica s Heroic Age which would include the Worst Journey in the World , and Endurance.This is Mawson s own account of the ambitious Australian expedition to the terra incognita of Adelie Land Antarctica The goals included mapping the coast of the Antarctic continent south of Australia, to take soundings in this remote stretch of the Southern Ocean, to find the m One of the great accounts of polar exploration ever written Mawson s book ranks amongst the top three classic works about Antarctica s Heroic Age which would include the Worst Journey in the World , and Endurance.This is Mawson s own account of the ambitious Australian expedition to the terra incognita of Adelie Land Antarctica The goals included mapping the coast of the Antarctic continent south of Australia, to take soundings in this remote stretch of the Southern Ocean, to find the magnetic south pole, to establish radio communications with the Antarctic continent from Australia for the first time via an intermediate station established on Macquarie Island, and various other zoological and meteorological observations That much of this was accomplished in what turned out to be one of the most inhospitable, and perhaps last known, places on Earth is a testament to the men and leadership of the expedition Despite the failure of an airplane they brought with them, a harrowing return trip from an expedition to the interior in which Mawson s two companions died and he wasn t able to return to the Hut in time for departure that season, and constant, ferocious wind Adele land is the windiest place on Earth , the enterprise was a success In terms of vivid depictions of the alien landscape and merciless conditions found there it approaches the sublime Worst Journey by Apsley Gerard.An amazing story


  8. Amerynth Amerynth says:

    Douglas Mawson s The Home of the Blizzard is a very comprehensive account of his two years exploring Antarctica It is really a terrific description of the trials and hardships, including an incredible sledge journey in which Mawson lost one of his two teammates, his best dogs and most of his food From a pure adventure standpoint, I enjoyed Lennard Bickel s Mawson s Will slightlyjust because Mawson somewhat downplays just how incredible his survival was However, this book is reall Douglas Mawson s The Home of the Blizzard is a very comprehensive account of his two years exploring Antarctica It is really a terrific description of the trials and hardships, including an incredible sledge journey in which Mawson lost one of his two teammates, his best dogs and most of his food From a pure adventure standpoint, I enjoyed Lennard Bickel s Mawson s Will slightlyjust because Mawson somewhat downplays just how incredible his survival was However, this book is really terrific and a must read for arm chair polar adventurers While there is an abridged version, this two volume set has such amazing maps and plates it is worth seeking it out, even though it makes for a longer read


  9. Vicky Hunt Vicky Hunt says:

    Dramatic TitleThis account of the Mawson expedition to the South Pole is not a recommendable read I expected it would be heartwarming and revealing to read about such a dramatic event from the man himself But, this account directly from the leader of the expedition, though a direct source document, is written as an after the fact report to superiors In it, Mawson wrote very succinctly and in a politically correct manner He did not want to offend anyone, or to dwell upon problems He passes Dramatic TitleThis account of the Mawson expedition to the South Pole is not a recommendable read I expected it would be heartwarming and revealing to read about such a dramatic event from the man himself But, this account directly from the leader of the expedition, though a direct source document, is written as an after the fact report to superiors In it, Mawson wrote very succinctly and in a politically correct manner He did not want to offend anyone, or to dwell upon problems He passes by the time he spent alone on the ice very quickly And, that is the most dramatic part of the trip I have feltemotion from reading professional staff handbooks in the past If you are looking for the gusto in this event, look elsewhere Alone on the Ice The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration by David Roberts is an excellent narrative that pieces together all the strands to form a true picture of this event that is at the heart of human interest Also, see my list of To the Mountains Canyons Poles for other books that share in the drama of extreme expeditions These are books I have read and reviewed.But, if you have the time and just want to hear Mawson talk write then he will update you by the hour and date in this book I read it in the Audible format, narrated by James Condon The narration was not enjoyable I don t recommend that either But, some may like it It is a classic that reminds you that not everything classic is good reading As a matter of fact, I had started it earlier in the year and laid it aside until now, because it was such slow reading with a lack of any enjoyment Now, I can not say honestly that I am even glad I finally finished it It islike that, I could have read something else feeling Well, a New Year awaits, and a whole new shelf of books to be read I m eager to get started January one, as soon as I have finished this year s challenge


  10. Anna Anna says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here A wonderful tale of hardship and peril by one of the overlooked Antarctic explorers Half of this book is Mawson s story of his catastrophic scientific expedition, in which he lost first one companion, almost all their food, and their tent, to a crevasse, and then his sole remaining companion to starvation, or possibly to vitamin A poisoning Left alone, with very little to eat, he has to try to make his way back to the base against almost insurmountable odds It s Mawson s indomitable character A wonderful tale of hardship and peril by one of the overlooked Antarctic explorers Half of this book is Mawson s story of his catastrophic scientific expedition, in which he lost first one companion, almost all their food, and their tent, to a crevasse, and then his sole remaining companion to starvation, or possibly to vitamin A poisoning Left alone, with very little to eat, he has to try to make his way back to the base against almost insurmountable odds It s Mawson s indomitable character that makes this such a fascinating read The rest of the book features narratives from other members of the expedition, which are also fascinating, if not as hair raising as Mawson s experience


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