Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure: A Giant-Screen Film black alignment spacer
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The Climbers: Messner, Venables, Anker
The South Georgia Traverse
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Image of 3 Climbers: Messner, Venables, Ankeralignment spacer Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure features the experiences of three of the world's most-accomplished climbers—Reinhold Messner (Italy), Stephen Venables (England), and Conrad Anker (USA)—who crossed South Georgia Island as Sir Ernest Shackleton, Frank Worsley and Tom Crean had, along the route they pioneered and armed only with a simple compass and map.
Stephen Venables, Reinhold Messner, Conrad Anker.alignment spacer

Reinhold Messner
Climber, writer, photographer and European parliamentarian, Reinhold Messner has been recognized as one of the world's most outstanding mountaineers for 20 years. In 1989-90, he accomplished what Shackleton had set out to achieve on his Endurance expedition: Messner was the first to traverse the continent of Antarctica on foot. In the course of 3,000 trips in the mountains, he has chalked up some 100 first ascents and was the first to climb all of the world's 8,000-meter peaks. He lectures throughout the world, makes documentary films, contributes to well-known specialist magazines and supports the preservation of the last wildernesses. He has written 40 books, which have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Between his journeys, he lives in Juval Castle in South Tyrol, Italy, and runs both a museum of Tibetan art and an organic hill farm. In addition, he continues to write books and develop museum projects. Messner was born in Brixen, South Tyrol, Italy, on September 17, 1944. He grew up in the Villnoss Valley in the Dolomites and later studied at the University of Padua.

Stephen Venables
Most commonly associated with Mount Everest, Stephen Venables was the first Briton to ascend Everest without supplementary oxygen. In 1988 Venables joined a four-man team to pioneer a new route up the Kangshung Face, the biggest wall on Everest, the world's highest peak. Seven weeks after setting foot on the face, he reached the summit, alone and without supplementary oxygen. Venables first traveled to South Georgia Island (which he revisits in Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure) for an expedition in 1990, Venables has written many accounts of his climbing experiences. His latest book, A Slender Thread, describes a climbing accident in the Himalayas during which he plunged 300 feet down the mountainside and was stranded with two broken legs at 19,000 feet. The book is short-listed for the Boardman Tasker Prize.

Conrad Anker
Perhaps the foremost American climber, Conrad Anker has made a name by climbing the most technically challenging terrain on Earth. This search has taken him from the icefalls of Alaska and Antarctica to the big walls of Patagonia, from mixed climbs in the Alps and Russia to the massive peaks of the Himalayas. In the United States, Conrad is known for his numerous speed records in his ascents of El Capitan. In 1997, he traveled to Antarctica with fellow climbers Alex Lowe and Jon Krakauer to climb Rakekniven, a 2,500-foot wall in Queen Maud Land. In May 1999, as a member of the Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition on Mount Everest, Anker discovered the body of George Mallory, the preeminent Everest explorer of the 1920s. He wrote about this experience in his book, The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mt. Everest.

To learn more about the three climbers and their experiences in making this film, visit the NOVA/PBS Online Adventure site by clicking the logo below.

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About the Film
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Film Summary
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Behind the Scenes
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Dramatic Reenactments
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The Climbers: Messner, Venables, Anker
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Film Reviews
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Sir Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition
Shackleton's Leadership Role
About Antarctica and the Subantarctic
Where to See the Film
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Photo Credits: 2000 WGBH, Photo: Susanne Simpson

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shadow background  2001 WGBH Educational Foundation