Thoughts on: Endurance – Alfred Lansing

A testament to what humans will endure when put to the test. It’s amazing how Shackleton and his men overcame one terrible obstacle after another without losing hope. Hats off to the captain and the crew. My main takeaway is the leadership style of captain Shackleton. Leading by example and not standing above any task. Never accepting special treatment because of his rank by his men.

4/5

Find other amazing reads in my reading lists!

Thoughts on: “The Expedition: A Love Story” by Bea Uusma

In 1897, three swedish scientists leaves for a polar expedition in a hydrogen balloon. Thirty years later they are found, by accident, dead on a deserted island. What happened to them and why did they die?

——-

The author, Bea Uusma (@bea_uusma ), gets obsessed by the subject and spends decades trying to find out what really happened. This is her account of what happened and the journey to uncover the last missing pieces of the puzzle.

——-

What I really loved about this book how each chapter uses very different narrative tools; diary entries from the crew, chart of data, maps, test results and research journals – This makes you feel like you are apart of an ongoing mystery investigation.

——-

📝 The hydrogen balloon leaked gas from the start. It was expected to last 30 days but it was useless after a day or two.

——

📝 Sea charts of the Arctic region are just white. This goes on for page after page. Nothing exists there.

——

📝 Eating the lever from of polar bears can lead to vitamin-a poisoning. The crew knew this and avoided it. The same goes for seals…but this they didn’t know!

——

📝 After spending two weeks building a hut, the ice cracked underneath it and it had to be abandoned.

——

📝 Polar bears can attack unprovoked. They can wander 100km a day on ice and a smell seals form 30km.

——

⭐️ TAKEAWAY: Freud mentions 3 main sources of human suffering; The external environment, our aging body and other people. This book reminds me of the relentless and brutish traits of nature untamed. Civilization (and with it; other people.) might be a cheap prize to pay for not having death lurking around every corner.

——

4/5

Get the Book!

Check out my reading lists for more great books!

Thoughts on: “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer

“Into Thin Air” is Jon Krakauers gripping first hand account of the May 1996 Mt. Everest disaster. Standing on the top of the worlds highest mountain he couldn’t see any signs of a deadly storm coming in. But he was wrong. When the group arrived at base camp, the mountain had claimed 5 lives and left the ones surviving in a guilt-ridden state.

——————-

“People who don’t climb mountains, the great majority of human kind that is to say, tend to assume that the sport is a reckless Dionysian pursuit of ever escalating thrills. But the notion that climbers are barely adrenaline junkies is a fallacy. At least in the case of Everest. …The ratio of misery to pleasure was greater by an order of magnitude than any other mountain I’ve been on. I quickly came to understand that climbing Everest was primarily about enduring pain.”

——————–

It’s a really good and my first one the topic of mountaineering. One thing that stuck with me was the climbers anti-climactic feeling of reaching the peak. There is no beer and BBQ being served at the top of the world. No warming tea and campfires to comfort you while enjoying the view. And that’s because, you know, people need air! Instead it’s just a few painful minutes of snapping photos before you have make the climb down again, realizing you are only halfway to the finish line.

——————

📝 Sherpa people are an ethnic group living in the Himalayas. They are fantastic mountaineers and are frequently used to support expeditions to Everest because of their ability to endure high altitudes.

——————

📝 For mountaineering purist the only “real” Everest climbs are done without bottled oxygen.

——————

📝 There is a movie based on this book called “Everest”. I didn’t know it was base on this book and now I’m excited to see it!

——————-

⭐️ TAKEAWAY: Don’t climb Everest.

—————–

Maybe it’s because stepping out of society and into the wilderness is more enticing to me, than ascending a cold mountain, but I like “Into the wild” a lot more than this book. Situations where one cannot breath just isn’t for me.

——————-

What is your favorite books about endurance?

——————-

4/5

Get the Book!

Check out my reading lists for more great books!