As far as carrying on family legacies goes, we reckon that Ernest Shackleton’s great-grandson has done a pretty good job of it. Shackleton is, of course, world-renowned for his Antarctic expeditions in the early 20th century. About 100 years ago, he and his team attempted to cross the continent, sea to sea, via the South Pole. Unfortunately, they ultimately failed, thanks to their ship becoming stuck in pack ice, and they all had to be rescued. Enter his great-grandson, Patrick Bergel, who late last year successfully completed the journey that his ancestor and crew set out to achieve a century earlier. In 30 days, Bergel crossed the continent by car, in a 2.2L diesel Hyundai Santa Fe with limited modifications.
Considering cars generally aren’t made to be driven across entire continents and ice caps in temperatures that get down to -28 degrees celsius, Bergel wasn’t the only one being challenged during the journey. The Hyundai Santa Fe was carefully prepared by Gisli Jónsson, one of the world’s most experienced Antarctic driving experts. A testament to the quality of the car and the expertise of all involved in ensuring its road worthiness (or ice worthiness), Bergel and the vehicle made it back safely and successfully.
The impressive feat was captured on video, which showcases the ups and downs faced by all involved as they battled some decidedly intense conditions, followed by some rather beautiful moments. Things like driving past Mount Erebus, a mountain first climbed by Shackleton, were especially poignant. The video hits an emotional crescendo when Bergel finally reaches McMurdo Sound, Shackleton’s intended final destination. It’s some pretty profound footage, and serves as a very inspiring story that ends with Bergel suggesting that his great-grandfather’s expedition didn’t actually fail, “it just took a hundred years to complete.”
Check out shackletonsreturn.hyundai.com for more info.