Antarctica: Both Heaven and Hell.

On the two-person Transantarctic expedition of 1989-90, including visit to South Pole, and which included a number of days stranded in their tent. The trek was 2,800km on foot.

p. 171: We wanted to spend Christmas Day resting. We sat in the tent, read. Each dealt with his jobs: fetching snow, cooking, diary-writing.

p. 222: The days in the tent passed in domestic routine: breakfast, a stroll around the tent, reading, chit-chat, lunch, music, reading. In between a few minutes outside. We were camping in the middle of the most hostile desert on earth, without back-up, without dumps ahead of us. From time to time I read [Egon] Friedell’s Cultural History of Modern Times [Kulturgeschichte der Neuzeit: die Krisis der europäischen Seele von der schwarzen Pest bis zum Ersten Weltkrieg] and, forgetting everything, lived in the past.