On 17 January 1913, alone and near starvation, Douglas Mawson, leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, was hauling a sledge to get back to base camp. The dogs were gone. Then Mawson plunged through a snow bridge, dangling over an abyss by the sledge harness. A line of poetry gave him the will to haul himself back to the surface. Mawson was sometimes reduced to crawling and one night he discovered that the soles of his feet had detached from the flesh beneath. On 8 February, he staggered back to base, his features unrecognisably skeletal. Illustrated by a trove of Frank Hurley's Antarctic photographs, this thrilling, almost unbelievable account establishes Mawson in his rightful place as one of the greatest polar explorers and expedition leaders.