Atrapados por el hielo

shackleton2.jpg“Se buscan hombres para viaje peligroso. Sueldo bajo. Frío extremo.” Con este anuncio en los periódicos, el aventurero y héroe Irlandés Ernest Shackleton iniciaba su aventura en 1914. Quería ser el primero en atravesar a pie la Antártida. Nadie podía prever que el viaje se convertiría en uno de los grandes episodios de supervivencia en la historia de las grandes expediciones. Los 28 hombres quedaron atrapados por el hielo al quedar bloqueado su barco, el Endurance (Resistencia), a 160 quilómetros de su destino.
Forzados a abandonar el barco, los tripulantes tuvieron que esperar que la deriva del hielo les acercase a tierra firme. Cuando intentaron seguir caminando, el hielo demasiado blando se lo impidió. Tuvieron que optar por los botes salvavidas, con los que alcanzaron la isla Elephant, pero allí ningún barco los podría rescatar. El jefe de la expedición tomó una difícil decisión: escogió a los cinco mejores marineros y con ellos intentó llegar a un centro ballenero para pedir ayuda. Mil trescientos quilómetros y 17 días después llegaban a las factorías balleneras. La aventura tendría un final feliz también para el resto de hombres, pero todavía deberían pasar cuatro meses hasta que pudieran ser rescatados.
Frank Hurley era un fotógrafo dispuesto a cualquier cosa para conseguir una buena imagen. La intención de Shackleton era financiar la expeidción con las ganancias de la venta de las fotografías, pues estaba seguro de que tendrían gran repercusión.
Gracias a su idea, hoy podemos disfrutar de las maravillas instantáneas de Hurley, de los perros tiradores de trineos, los marineros, los paisajes. Es, a buen seguro, de las expediciones mejor documentadas de la historia.
La exposición del trabajo de Hurley y material complementario forman una de las mejores exposiciones de este estilo que he visto. No en vano, llega de uno de los mejores museos del mundo, el Natural History Museum of New York. Para no perdérselo.

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