Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition)


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They were burning between six thousand and eight thousand calories a day, and periodically paused to consume energy drinks and snack on such fatty foods as salami, nuts, and chocolate; even so, they began to lose weight. Worsley, knowing that it was imperative to maintain positive thoughts, recalled family holidays and planting vegetables in the garden. He grew accustomed to the paradox of being reduced to irrelevance in the alien landscape while at the same time feeling acutely aware of oneself: every aching muscle, every joint, every breath, every heartbeat.

One day, Adams spotted in the distance something poking from the ice and gleaming in the blinding sun. When they reached it, they realized that it was a meteorological instrument recording such data as temperature and wind speed. A sign indicated that the device belonged to the University of Wisconsin. The men quickly moved on, but for hours Worsley fumed, resenting the intrusion, and he was relieved when he finally glanced back and the instrument had disappeared from view.

T he storm came upon the men suddenly. The temperature was minus twenty-two degrees, and frigid winds whipped up ice that stung the eyes like bits of glass. The men bent forward, but the wind overwhelmed them, and Worsley concluded that they needed to stop for the day. Moments after they unpacked the tent, the wind nearly hurled it into the white oblivion. They fastened its corners with ice screws and buried the flaps under the snow and used their sleds as barricades. Worsley called the A.

The tempest intensified, the wind hissing at fifty miles per hour. Ice drifted over the tent. When they awoke the next day, the storm was even angrier. The tent was virtually submerged under ice, and inside the air reeked of unwashed bodies and dirty socks and stove fuel. Worsley—whom Gow and Adams now called the General—tried to foster a lighthearted atmosphere. The men passed the time chatting and reading and playing poker. They had previously named themselves the founding members of the Antarctic Malt Whiskey Appreciation Society; per its bylaws, every Thursday evening the explorers would drink from a flask of whiskey, which Gow had brought with him, and the next morning they would sleep in an extra two hours.

Even though it was a Saturday, the men passed around the flask.

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The liquor warmed them. Worsley, who, in the Army, had honed a gallows humor, joked about their circumstances: if they could make fun of dying, they still had some life in them. Will is picking his toes and Henry Adams is writing in his diary. Until then, farewell from the Ross Ice Shelf. After two more days, the storm relented.


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The men unzipped the tent and began hacking through a wall of ice about five feet tall and four feet thick. They dug for more than an hour, until they emerged into the blinding light, like escaped prisoners.

They packed and pressed on, trying to make up time. By the fourth week of their journey, in mid-December, they had made it across the Ross Ice Shelf, to the base of the mountain range. The terrain began to rise, and the surface was scarred with deep fissures, a product of the eternal churning of ice. The following day, despite the danger, Worsley went on his walkabout, and collected several rock specimens. Hoping to do reconnaissance for the upcoming route, he continued walking for hours, at one point climbing onto a ledge and looking south.

Before him, shrouded in mist, rose the Beardmore Glacier. The men gathered their belongings and trekked to the mouth of the glacier. Others were only a few feet deep, but that was enough for someone to break an ankle or twist a knee. If one of the men were injured, there would be no place for miles for a rescue plane to land. Worsley decided that they could no longer proceed on skis, and so they attached crampons to their boots and put on climbing harnesses, double-checking the screws, slings, and carabiners.

Then the men roped themselves together: Worsley in front, followed by Gow and Adams. As they inched up the glacier, their sleds felt like ship anchors being dragged across an ocean floor. The days were slow and draining. Before each step, Worsley, who was responsible for finding a path, poked his pole in front of him, to see if the ice was solid.

Whenever a hole opened, he leaned over and glimpsed the underworld—a chute swirling into darkness. Or it can take you into the throat of a crevasse in a split second. His leg plunged into the shaft.

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Adams raced over and yanked him out. Soon, the men encountered something startling beneath their feet: a sheet of blue ice. The result of snow accumulating on a glacier and being compressed over thousands of years, this kind of ice is so dense—so devoid of air bubbles—that it absorbs long-wavelength light, which is why it appears mesmerizingly blue. Yet, as the men quickly discovered, its beauty is deceptive.

Before long, the aluminum spikes of the crampons began to bend and break. The men slipped again and again, their bodies smacking against the ice, their sleds pulling them downhill. Adams quietly relented. Sometimes they were right, sometimes they were wrong.

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But he would make those decisions, having listened and consulted with us, so it made it very easy to follow him. On December 24th, after nine days of climbing, they reached the top of the glacier. On Christmas morning, instead of their usual breakfast of freeze-dried porridge, the team prepared a special meal of sausages, bacon, and beans. Worsley called home and spoke to Joanna and Alicia, wishing them a merry Christmas. Worsley then called his own father, hoping to share the news that he had reached the top of the glacier. T he following morning, the forty-third day of the expedition, Worsley, Adams, and Gow began the next stage of their journey.

But, as they ascended the Titan Dome, they confronted the most brutal conditions yet: hurricane-force gales, and a wind-chill temperature of minus sixty degrees. Worsley kept a vigilant eye on his companions. They were almost unrecognizable from the young professionals who had set out from London. Their skin clung to their skulls and their eyes were sunken; they had wild beards and untamed hair that gleamed with ice.

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Because of the whiteouts, Adams was suffering from motion sickness. But by December 31st it was Worsley who was suffering and struggling to keep pace. His body could not maintain sufficient body fat. My legs would not work any faster. Each stride of the ski seemed locked at a precise distance. I could go no faster, just slower and slower.

We are all completely done in, so why should you? Inside the tent on January 5th, he opened the envelope that Joanna had given him. As long as we have faith in our cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us. The next day, during another whiteout, Adams got such severe motion sickness that he began vomiting. Worsley then forged ahead at his fastest pace in days. There was still a chance for them to make the ninety-seven-mile mark on schedule.

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But on January 7th, with just two days to go, another storm descended, and they were enveloped in the white darkness. Worsley explained to the others that they could either keep going or sit out the storm. But if they waited they would miss the anniversary. But he stressed that the decision had to be unanimous. During the next two days, the storm abated, and they covered more than twenty-five nautical miles. On January 9th, they barrelled ahead for six hours.

Then Worsley took out his G.

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All they could see was barren ice—their grail was no more than a geographical data point. The temperature was minus thirty-one degrees, too cold to linger. But Worsley planted a British flag and arranged a group photograph similar to one that Shackleton had taken with his party. Worsley kept thinking about the predicament that Shackleton had faced a hundred years earlier.

I must look at the matter sensibly and consider the lives of those who are with me. I feel that if we go on too far it will be impossible to get back over this surface, and then all the results will be lost to the world. To their relief, they began descending in altitude, their sleds, lightened from the consumption of food, scooting easily behind them. After eight days, they had covered ninety-two nautical miles, a reminder of just how close Shackleton had been to realizing his dream. That night, Worsley went for his stroll, wobbling on bone-thin legs.


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He was not a religious man, but the landscape stirred him. The next morning, the men broke camp, and embarked on the remaining five nautical miles.

Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition) Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition)
Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition) Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition)
Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition) Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition)
Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition) Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition)
Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition) Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition)
Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition) Le voyage invisible (FICTION) (French Edition)

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