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the Imaginary Gates: Journeys in the Fjord Region of Northeast
Tour Greenland. There
are now precious few places left on earth with which we do not
feel familiar, if not from first hand experience then at least
from the perspective of the armchair traveller, and fewer still
where the camera has not yet prescribed our vision. An unrivalled
collection of images of one of the last unsullied wildernesses
in the world: the vast, uninhabited spaces of north-east Greenland.
These beautiful, majestic and poetic landscapes exist in one
of the harshest environments on earth. Roy traces the historical
background with a brief outline of Greenland's early exploration.
He documents the poignant traces of the Inuit tribe, their winter
houses, summer tent circles and graves and enigmatic stone mosaics,
and the structures left by the European trappers who once plied
their dog-sledges in the lonely fjords. Iain Roy's first expedition
to Greenland was in 1982, to the mountainous region of the south
near Cape Farewell. He was a member of a small group of Arctic
enthusiasts who shared a love of wild spaces and whose ambitions
were fuelled by the accounts of earlier pioneers, early whaling
and expedition journals and memoirs of scientists and trappers
from the pre-war period. The group pooled their resources in
order to reach remote corners of a faraway region that had become
their common obsession. Roy himself has since made ten expeditions
to the region.
The First Crossing of Greenland Over the history of polar exploration towers one titanic father figure, Fridtjof Nansen. That a little known researcher in neurology from Bergen Museum was able to put together one of the first great journeys of exploration of our time is a tribute to the extraordinary force and magnetism of his personality. That he should show such extraordinary innovation in the use of sledges and skis, such attention to detail in areas such as diet and the make of sleeping bag is equally extraordinary. Although Nansen's success is overshadowed by the epic voyage of the Fram, his journey across Greenland in 1888 (eight attempts before him had failed) remains one of the most astonishing on record. Even the Eskimos were to regard his achievement in awe: '...now you will travel to the unknown world out there, you will possibly forget us among all the people, but we will never forget you.' On his return Nansen became a living legend - a third of the population of Oslo came out to greet him and he was awarded a sinecure for the rest of his life. His Greenland journey and the ensuring lecture tour inspired a surge in exploration across Europe. This, the first modern edition of The First Crossing of Greenland, removes the technical appendices, the historical sections on previous attempts to penetrate the ice field, and the detailed account of the Eskimos. The record of the incredible journey, however, remains intact.
Leave the luxuries of the twenty-first century behind and head
for the transcendent beauty of Greenland, letting the author
be your guide. With a wealth of mountaineering experience, a
perceptive eye and bundles of enthusiasm, Woolley leads his
readers through this most extreme of landscapes, charting close
on twenty years of expeditions through his personal trials and
moments of triumph. Combining technical and geological knowledge
with an anecdotal style, this is a must for enthusiasts and
a delight for the general reader.
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