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Hampshire man in bid to complete Shackleton's pole mission
A HAMPSHIRE man is taking part in training in Greenland to prepare for an attempt to complete explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's failed journey to the South Pole.
He is among a team of modern adventurers who will set out this October, exactly 100 years after the original expedition and following the same full 900-mile, 80-day route as their predecessors.
Shackleton's crew was forced to turn back 97 miles from the Pole on January 9 1909 in the face of howling icy blizzards and dwindling rations.
The 21st-century explorers are being led by Army Lt Col Henry Worsley, a descendant of Frank Worsley, Shackleton's skipper on the Endurance, the ship used in a following Polar expedition in 1914.
One of the team is David Cornell, 38, from Andover, a City fund manager who is great-grandson of Jameson Boyd-Adams, Shackleton's number two on the unsuccessful expedition.
They travelled to Greenland on April 15 for a ''full dress rehearsal'' for the ''main event''.
The adventurers are aiming to spend about 16 days on the ice, dragging their 250lb sledges 10-12 miles a day.
The men have been training for four years - everything from regular gym sessions to pulling heavy tyres behind them - and will start putting on weight over the summer.
Three of the men will set out from the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf at exactly 10am on October 29, as Shackleton and his team did a century earlier.
They will be joined by Mr Cornell and two others for the final push on the Pole, at the point where Shackleton gave up.
Enduring -35C temperatures and 50mph headwinds, the team will attempt to keep to the pace set by the Antarctic pioneers, While they will have the benefits of modern equipment and navigational aids, they will not have the ponies and dogs that helped their forebears.
But unlike Shackleton and his men, they will fly out from the South Pole.
Shackleton set out on his 1908-09 Nimrod expedition to the Antarctic hoping to become the first person to reach the South Pole.
Although he failed, he travelled further south than anyone else had before, and was hailed a hero and knighted when he returned to the UK.
The expedition is being used to launch a £10m Shackleton Foundation, which will fund projects that embody the adventurer's spirit and hunger for ''calculated risk''.