How I trained to be a polar explorer, in the snowy footsteps of my cousin Sir Ernest Shackleton

Slowly, very slowly, we make our way to civilisation. My face is battered by icy winds and burnt by an unusually bright early spring sun; my muscles ache from shovelling, skiing, and plodding in snow several metres thick – particularly my triceps and upper back, which haven’t seen action like this ski pole use in years. The below-freezing dawn temperature hits my toes and fingers hardest, making the journey back to our hotel a gruelling, heavy-legged, sleep-deprived, ordeal.

After a rough night in a claustrophobic snow hole completing my stint as a “polar explorer”, only the promise of a substantial Nordic breakfast keeps me sane.

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