Stuck in his tent for two days, too ill to move, Worsley finally called for rescue late last week. He died yesterday of peritonitis that caused multiple organ failure. His wife was at his side at the end.The very proper wife to a career military officer. "I love a man in uniform", "Chicks dig the uniform", etc.
Every day for the past couple of months, Worsley has been doing a daily update on his progress and talking about what it is like to be alone and pressing on through some of the worst conditions on earth. E, who served under Worsley, had been following the podcasts. (Most nights he would get into bed and put it on, and I would grumpily roll over and tell him to use his headphones.) At the end of each recording, Worsley would answer questions, many of them from the children who listened in each day. There was something sweetly old-fashioned about that. He would satisfy questions like ‘what is it like to celebrate Christmas on Antartica?’ with a condensed but not unrealistic description of life in the white darkness.
I will never understand why people want to climb Everest or walk to the Pole. The human drive to ‘conquer’ landscape and survive in hostile environments is wholly alien to me, and probably to most of us.
So totally unaware.