The Duke of Cambridge has become Patron of polar traveller Henry Worsley's third Antarctic expedition, attempting to undertake Sir Ernest Shackleton’s unfinished journey to the South Pole from the Weddell Sea. This will be a truly inspirational journey of epic scale and we are proud and most grateful that proceeds for the expedition will be donated to The Endeavour Fund. These funds will be used to support the ambitions of wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans who wish to overcome adversity by using sport and adventurous challenge in their recovery. Shackleton was certainly no stranger to adversity and his story is one of the greatest examples of leadership, fortitude and determination in history when his hopes of becoming the first team to cross the Antarctic Continent were crushed after his ship Endurance was trapped and sunk by pack ice leaving his team stranded. A century later Henry Worsley will attempt to recreate the majority this journey, which remains untravelled to this day. Henry Worsley said:
"This unique solo expedition will finally write the end of a part-finished chapter and will serve as a reminder and celebration of a famous polar episode that cemented reputations for leadership, courage and heroism."Henry will depart from the southernmost tip of Chile in early November 2015 and fly to Union Glacier, his Antarctic logistics base. As soon as the weather allows, he will fly onwards to his start point at Gould Bay - the closest accessible point to Shackleton’s intended start at Vahsel Bay on the edge of the Weddell Sea. Henry’s journey to the South Pole will follow the most likely route that Shackleton would have followed which takes him up either the Support Force or Recovery glacier and then onwards to the polar plateau and the Pole. Shackleton’s intended route through the Transantarctic Range was to have used the Beardmore Glacier but instead Henry will make the first solo descent of the Shackleton glacier - appropriate for the centenary celebration. This is the third expedition that Henry Worsley will undertake on the Antarctic. The first in 2008/9 saw Henry successfully lead the Shackleton Centenary Expedition that retraced Ernest Shackleton’s ground breaking 900 mile journey that opened up the heart of the Antarctic but fell just 97 miles short from the South Pole. It was the first time that the original route, via an ascent of the Beardmore glacier, had ever been attempted since Shackleton’s discovery in 1908/9. Then in 2011, to celebrate the Captain Scott and Roald Amundsen journeys of 1911/12, Henry planned and led a second centenary expedition that sent a three man team down each of the original routes. Henry led the Amundsen team 800 miles from the Bay of Whales to the South Pole, via the Axel Heiberg glacier and repeated history by reaching the South Pole nine days before the Scott team. On completion, Henry became the only person to have ever retraced the original routes used by Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen.