Good Reading : August 2007
46 goodreading ı AUGUST 2007 coffee table For a man who spent 16 bone-freezing days in Antarctica tracing the steps of earlier explorers along Horseshoe Valley, photographer Jason Kimberley has an extraordi- nary admission to make: he begins his book Antarctica: A Different Adventure by telling us ‘I hate the cold. One of my greatest fears is that of being stuck, exposed and helpless and slowly freezing to death, in some lonely wasteland.’ Luckily for Jason, and for us, neither he nor his two com- panions (Jason Veale and Peter Hillary) suffered such a terrible fate on their adventurous 2005 trip to Antarctica – although they had some hairy moments en route, including snow storms and whiteouts.They thoroughly enjoyed their boys’ own adventure and called each other the Boss, Mertz and Oates, after explorer greats Sir Ernest Shakleton ‘the Boss’ to his men), Dr Xavier Mertz and Lawrence Oates. But their main purpose was to canvass the state of Antarctica today, and investigate the uneasy suspicion that some governments see the beautiful fro- zen continent as ‘just another resource to exploit’. The future of Antarctica, Kimberley concludes, is ‘a litmus test for us all. It holds the key to our climate history and is the last bastion of pristine wilderness on our planet. Our challenge is to preserve it.’ Let’s hope that this magnificent book contributes to our awareness of the fragility and preciousness of Antarctica. (The intrepid chap on the front cover, by the way, is Jason Veale, dashing naked across the Horseshoe Valley in –15°C.) cold comfort The tents below Minaret Peak. Absolute beachfront property in Punta Arenas, Chile.