Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration

Author(s): David Roberts


On 17 January 1913, alone and near starvation, Douglas Mawson, leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, was hauling a sledge to get back to base camp. The dogs were gone. Then Mawson plunged through a snow bridge, dangling over an abyss by the sledge harness. A line of poetry gave him the will to haul himself back to the surface. Mawson was sometimes reduced to crawling and one night he discovered that the soles of his feet had detached from the flesh beneath. On 8 February, he staggered back to base, his features unrecognisably skeletal. Illustrated by a trove of Frank Hurley's Antarctic photographs, this thrilling, almost unbelievable account establishes Mawson in his rightful place as one of the greatest polar explorers and expedition leaders.

Product Information

"Illustrated with a trove of Frank Hurley's celebrated photographs, this is truly heroic stuff." The Bookseller "...Mawson's exploits and travails, chronicled in horrifying detail in Roberts's book, are the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters." The Observer "...thrilling book...Roberts...knows how to shape a narrative..." The Sunday Times "In Alone on the Ice, Roberts, a veteran mountain climber and chronicler of adventures, admirably succeeds in restoring the lustre that the AAE and its leader deserve." The Guardian Weekly "It [Alone on the Ice] will thrill fans of Scott and Shackleton." Patrick Neale, Bookseller's Choice, The Bookseller "A marvelous, chilling account of Douglas Mawson's death-defying 1913 expedition of Antarctica, illustrated by Frank Hurley's never-before-published photographs of the journey." "...exhaustively researched and well documented..." Amateur Photography "Making use of rarely seen private diaries, impeccable research, and Frank Hurley's famous Antarctic photographs, author David Roberts shares this little-known but epic survival story in an absorbing narrative..." Outdoor Photography ", deft prose..." Times Literary Supplement "Edmund Hillary reckoned it [Mawson's story] "the greatest survival story in the history of exploration" and author David Roberts retells it with page-turning clarity." Martin Hemming, Travel Picks 2013, The Sunday Times

David Roberts is the winner of the Prix Mediterrane and the grand prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival. He is the author of The Mountain of My Fear and Deborah.

General Fields

  • : 9780393347784
  • : WW Norton & Co
  • : WW Norton & Co
  • : March 2014
  • : 211mm X 140mm X 65mm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : David Roberts
  • : 368
  • : 24 pages of illustrations