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Team braves wet, cold retracing Shackleton's steps

Tuesday - 2/12/2013, 7:42pm  ET

In this Feb. 7, 2013 photo released by Shackleton Epic, the expedition crew on their boat Alexander Shackleton pass Point Wild on Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean. A modern-day team of six led by Tim Jarvis and Barry Gray used similar equipment and clothes to a re-enacted a 1916 expedition led by Ernest Shackleton to save his crew after their ship got stuck in Antarctica’s icy waters. In honor of the epic journey the team sailed 800 nautical miles on the Southern Ocean in a small lifeboat and then climbed over crevasse-filled mountains in South Georgia to complete the historic journey. (AP Photo/Shackleton Epic, Jo Stewart)

Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- It's been lauded as one of the greatest survival stories of all-time.

Nearly 100 years later, a group of British and Australian adventurers have discovered why. They re-enacted Ernest Shackleton's journey to save his crew when their ship got stuck and sank in Antarctica's icy waters.

Tim Jarvis and Barry "Baz" Gray reached an old whaling station on remote South Georgia island Monday, 19 days after leaving Elephant Island. Just as Shackleton did in 1916, Jarvis and his team sailed 800 nautical miles (1,300 kilometers) across the Southern Ocean in a small lifeboat and then climbed over crevasse-filled mountains in South Georgia.

The modern-day team of six used similar equipment and clothes. But the harsh conditions forced several of them to abandon their attempt along the way.

"It was epic, really epic, and we've arrived here against the odds," Jarvis told his project manager Kim McKay after reaching the station, adding that "we had more than 20 crevasse falls up to our knees and Baz fell into a crevasse up to his armpits."

McKay said Jarvis was suffering frostbite in his right foot after the journey. He planned Tuesday to hike to the grave site of Shackleton, who was buried on the island years after his journey.

Jarvis wasn't the only one suffering foot problems. Three of the men couldn't complete the climb after suffering the ailment trench foot, caused by prolonged exposure to cold and wet conditions.

"The boat was only 22
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