Adventurers sought to follow in Crean’s footsteps

Wanted:Three young volunteers to retrace a path taken by one of our nation’s greatest explorers.

Adventurers sought to follow in Crean’s footsteps

To qualify, they must be in excellent health, have a high standard of fitness, and possess an adventurous spirit.

And they must also be well able to tolerate extreme cold if they are to follow the footsteps of Tom Crean.

It is almost a century since the Kerryman, along with Ernest Shackleton and others, crossed South Georgia, in the Antarctic. Now, an all-expenses paid recreation is being promoted as an opportunity of a lifetime.

The invitation from the Antarctic Heritage Trust, New Zealand, is for a sponsored trip attempting to repeat the crossing of South Georgia, from King Haakon Bay to Stromness, on skis.

‘‘The expedition aims to help achieve the trust’s vision of inspiring explorers and to mark the centenary of Shackleton’s crossing of South Georgia,’’ said spokeswoman Paula Granger.

The people chosen will be in their 20s and must identify with either Ireland, Britain, or New Zealand to represent the nationalities of Crean, Shackleton, and Worsley, who famously undertook the crossing in May 1916.

The expedition takes place from October 17-30, from South America with the Antarctic tour company, One Ocean Expeditions, aboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov, a 117m vessel which caters for up to 92 guests.

It will involve flying to Port Stanley, in the Falklands, and then travelling aboard Vavilov to King Haakon Bay, South Georgia. From there, the plan is for the expedition team to disembark and cross South Georgia to Stromness, on skis where possible, before rejoining the ship.

The ship will return to Ushuaia, Argentina. The crossing will take several days, from south to north. Given the extreme weather, the success rate is around 60%.

A native of Annascaul on the Dingle Peninsula, Tom Crean, joined the British navy while still in his teens, in 1893, and took part in several Antarctic missions. He was awarded the Albert Medal for Lifesaving for his rescue of Edward Evans, which involved a 56km walk across the ice during the second expedition.

Applications close on August 2.

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