Shackleton's Epic: the world's greatest survival journey

In April 1916, his ship the Endurance crushed by pack ice, Sir Ernest Shackleton found himself trapped on an inhospitable island in the Antarctic with winter fast approaching. His only chance to save his men – to set out with five of his most adept crew (strong sailors, a navigator and carpenter) on a perilous 800-nautical-mile journey in an open lifeboat across the confused waters of the Southern Ocean to South Georgia. Once there, they would trek over unmapped glaciers to raise the alarm and bring help for their remaining men. Shackleton prevailed and brought all 28 men back alive in what has since been dubbed the world’s great survival journey.

Fast forward to January 2013 and explorer, author and environmental scientist Tim Jarvis sets out to recreate Shackleton’s epic journey, leading a six-man crew into hurricane force winds and merciless seas in their 22ft keel-less wooden lifeboat, the Alexandra Shackleton. Kitted out in 100-year-old clothes, dreading each gelatinous bowl of ‘hoosh’ (the staple of heroic era sledging trips) and using only the navigational equipment that would have been available to Shackleton’s crew, the 2013 journey brings the reality of polar exploration to finger-numbing, stomach-churning life.

Visit the Shackleton Epic website for the full story or brace yourself for a bumpy ride with this clip from the Discovery TV series Shackleton Death or Glory. Tim and his crew are 200 miles in, when a storm hits...