ChasingShackleton_HC_cover (Small) Chasing Shackleton, Recreating the World’s Greatest Journey of Survival

(AUS/UK Title ‘Shackleton’s Epic, Recreating the World’s Greatest Journey of Survival‘)

In this extraordinary adventure memoir and tie-in to the Discovery Channel/PBS documentary, Tim Jarvis, one of the world’s leading explorers, describes his modern-day journey, to retrace for the first time ever (and in period clothing and gear) the legendary 1914 expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

In 1916, a desperate Ernest Shackleton sailed across 1300 kms of hostile ocean in a tiny, leaking boat, then trekked across unmapped ice and snow to reach a rescue station. In 2012, British-Australian explorer Tim Jarvis set off to recreate Shackleton’s Epic. It’s been called the greatest survival story of all time. In 1916, Ernest Shackleton’s ship the Endurance was trapped in pack ice, his supplies running were out, his men were exhausted, cold and desperate. Shackleton faced a horrible quandary: should he and the crew stay on a tiny inhospitable stretch of Antarctic island with the winter setting in or make what was almost certainly a doomed journey, sailing in a lifeboat across miles of the world’s wildest ocean and then trekking over unmapped glaciers to reach help?

Showing astonishing courage Shackleton and a small band of men set off in their boat. they faced monstrous seas, icebergs, storms and vile seasickness. Even more astonishingly, they survived. In 2013, explorer Tim Jarvis and a crew of five, set out to replicate Shackleton’s journey, using the same equipment, eating the same unpalatable food, facing the same hostile ocean and desolate conditions. Here for the first time is the whole story of that trip, the wretched lows and the occasional highs, the gruelling mental and physical toughness it takes to test yourself in one of the last wildernesses on Earth. Moving between the past and the present, and combining a thrilling survival story with over 200 beautiful contemporary and historical photographs, this is a must-read book for all Shackleton fans and lovers of epic adventure.


Chasing Shackleton (Aus/UK title ‘Shackleton’s Epic’) is the remarkable record of Jarvis and his team’s epic journey. Beautifully designed and illustrated with dozens of photographs from the original voyage and its modern reenactment, it is a visual feast for readers and historians alike, and an essential new chapter in the story that has inspired adventurers across every continent for a century.

Published by : Harper Collins, 2013
(‘Shackleton’s Epic’: ISBN 9780733332654; ‘Chasing Shackleton’: ISBN 9780062282736)

Have a ‘browse inside’ the book on the Harper Collins Canada website here


“…Tim Jarvis superbly recounts his successful re-creation of Shackleton’s journey faithfully almost to the last detail. […]  Lavishly illustrated and gripping from the very first word, ‘Shackleton’s Epic’ is an absolute must for the bookshelf of anyone with an even passing interest in Sir Ernest Shackleton”.  – NICK SMITH, EXPLORERS JOURNAL, FALL 2014

Mr. Jarvis’s tribute to Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition has had a danger and heroism that are worthy of the original.”

This is a story of triumph! Tim Jarvis and his companions have successfully recreated my grandfather’s 1916 voyage over the stormiest seas in the world. I feel it was a thoroughly Shackletonian expedition.”

A daring re-enactment. … All the plaudits to him and his team are thoroughly deserved.”

An extraordinary expedition

Polar explorer Jarvis takes on the re-creation of one of the most difficult treks imaginable. … The story of their journey is bone-chilling and breathtakingly frightening. … a most remarkable feat. A well-written, compelling read.”

Thrilling. … A treasure-trove of minutiae and derring-do for both explorers and those who will simply gaze in wonderment.”

Full Review from Booklist (USA)
Here’s a book whose subtitle employs “world’s greatest” accurately, speaking of Ernest Shackleton’s astonishing 1916 Antarctic rescue. Author-adventurer Jarvis has re-created in nearly every detail that harrowing trip (“in a replica James Caird using traditional navigation” and “period gear and equipment”) across the Southern Ocean from Elephant Island to South Georgia and up and down its mountainous terrain. Though others have tried this and failed, Jarvis, with help and patronage from Shackleton’s granddaughter Alexandra and a team of brave, seaworthy men, made it, and the expedition’s nuts and bolts (financial, emotional, and literal) are detailed here, accompanied by fascinating quotes from the accounts of members of Shackleton’s original journey. Nearly every page of this oversize book features a map, or an illustration, or a period or contemporary photo, from close-ups of gnarled hands stitching the replica sails and the boat-making process to the seagoing men sleeping, just barely, under reindeer-skin blankets. The PBS documentary tie-in will flesh out this thrilling tale, but the book itself is a treasure-trove of minutiae and derring-do for both explorers and those who will simply gaze in wonderment.  — Eloise Kinney


Where to Buy?

in Australia and the UK (AUS/UK Title ‘Shackleton’s Epic, Recreating the World’s Greatest Journey of Survival) and
in the USA and Canada (title ‘Chasing Shackleton, Recreating the World’s Greatest Journey of Survival’)

Buy a copy signed by the author online NOW


Engage Tim Jarvis to speak at your event

If you live in the USA contact Harper Collins Speakers Bureau to get all the information you need about booking Tim to speak at your next event.  See Tim’s HCSB profile page.

Other parts of the world – you can send your enquiry to  Check out Tim’s website for video of Tim speaking, his profile and upcoming appearances.

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