Antarctic Research Blog #72 – Shadows on the Wasteland

Non-fiction: Mike Stroud: Shadows on the Wasteland (Penguin, 1994)

The copy I got from Amazon’s used books is signed! The book also has an unusually poetic title, with the reference to the T.S. Eliot poem Stroud also quotes at the beginning of the book:

Who is the third who walks alwaus beside you?

When I count, there are only you and I together

But when I look ahead up the white road

There is always another one walking beside you

The book describes the attempt by Mike Stroud and Ranulph Fiennes to make an unsupported trek from one coast of Antarctica to another. It was successful, but led to public fireworks as Fiennes made some unpleasant comments about Stroud in his book Mind Over Matter. This account was published after Fiennes’s book.

This is a thin, readable, human, but also routine account of a modern Antarctic manhauling expedition. I expect it to become more interesting after I read Fiennes’s book, and the portrait Stroud paints of his companion is very good, since Fiennes is such a large figure in Antarctic adventuring.

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