Posts Tagged ‘base camp’

At the time Douglas Mawson and his partner Xavier Mertz were struggling to survive in the Antarctic by eating the livers of their dogs, it wasn’t known that Husky liver contains extremely high levels of vitamin A. Such levels of vitamin A can cause liver damage to humans. With six dogs between them (with a liver on average weighing 1 kg), it is thought that the pair ingested enough liver to bring on a condition known as Hypervitaminosis A.

Mawson looked at the thin blue icicle
hanging off the peak of his tent.
He needed to move or he would freeze
along this hellish coast of the Antarctic.

Mawson chewed the last bit of husky liver
and strapped on his crampons.
An hour later he tumbled into a crevasse.
Saved because the sledge wedged tightly into the ice above him,
Mawson struggled out using the harness attached to the sledge.
Tired, hungry and hallucinating, he trudged forward on bleeding feet.

Heart thumping he climbed the hill above base camp
and watched his rescue ship, the Aurora, disappear over the horizon.