The dead of an Arctic winter. Whaling ships full of men, stranded in ice. Follow three rescuers in a race against time — and all odds — in this heartpounding true adventure.
In 1897, whaling in the Arctic waters off Alaska’s coast was as dangerous as it was lucrative. And in that particular year, winter blasted early, bringing storms and ice packs that caught eight American whale ships and three hundred sailors off guard. Their ships locked in ice, with no means of escape, the whalers had limited provisions on board, and little hope of surviving until warmer temperatures arrived many months later. Here is the incredible story of three men sent by President McKinley to rescue them. The mission? A perilous trek over 1,500 miles of nearly impassable Alaskan terrain, in the bone-chilling months of winter, to secure two herds of reindeer (for food) and find a way to guide them to the whalers before they starve. With the help of photographs and journal entries by one of the rescuers, Martin W. Sandler takes us on every step of their riveting journey, facing raging blizzards, killing cold, injured sled dogs, and setbacks to test the strongest of wills.
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“A great treasure-trove of daunting human courage, frailty, and persistence in the face of the unknown.”―Library Journal
From Robert Falcon Scott’s final journal entry to Jon Krakauer’s reckless solo climb of the Devil’s Thumb, David Roberts and the editors of Outside have gathered the most enduring adventure literature of the century into one heart-stopping volume. A frigid winter ascent of Mount McKinley; the vastness of Arabia’s Empty Quarter; the impossibly thin air at Everest’s summit; the deadly black pressure of an underwater cave; a desperate escape through a Norwegian winter―these and thirty-six other stories recount the minutes, hours, and days of lives pushed to the brink. But there is more to adventure than hair’s-breadth escapes. By turns charming and tragic, whimsical and nerve-racking, this extraordinary collection gets to the heart of why adventure stories enthrall us. Includes works by Sebastian Junger, Jon Krakauer, Edward Abbey, Tim Cahill, Edward Hoagland, Ernest Shackleton, Freya Stark, and Wilfred Thesiger.
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