Sunday, September 24, 2006

Terrors of Ice and Darkness

Was just tidying my loft and chucking stuff out when I came across a book which I'd forgotten, but would be a perfect text for looking at Extreme Environments for those with a few hours to spend. The book is called "The Terrors of Ice and Darkness", and is by German author Christoph Ransmayr. It was published in 1984, and is probably hard to get hold of today...

This description was posted on a book review site:
"this is to some extent a book of information about difficult travel in one of the bleakest places on earth. We learn about the effects of intense cold on the body, how urine turns red and how a beard bleaches white. We are told that the secret of good sledging is to excite the dogs with a goal and make them believe they are heading straight for it all the time. We discover that when a vessel becomes icebound in temperatures as low as 30 to 40 degrees below zero, it is raised higher and higher above sea level until it "lies like a wreck on a dry dock of ice."

The book follows an Italian who is obsessed with an early expedition, and ends up dying in a blizzard in Spitzbergen.
Flicking through gives some great descriptions of Longyearbyen and other locations in Svalbard...
One for the A* candidates to read.

No comments: