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When hell freezes over

Media release

Date 16 August 2010
Ref 156-10

Adventurer and environmental scientist Tim Jarvis will talk about his trek retracing Australian polar explorer Sir Douglas Mawson’s epic 1912/13 journey at Curtin University next week.

In 2007, Tim retraced Mawson’s entire trek using the same clothing, equipment and starvation rations as part of a modern day scientific experiment.

Image of adventurer Tim Jarvis recreating Douglas Mawson's epic journey.

Adventurer and environmental scientist Tim Jarvis will talk about his trek retracing Sir Douglas Mawson's epic journey.

The expedition is best known for the harrowing tale of survival when he and two other men set off on a sledging trek on November 10, 1912, with only Mawson returning more than three months later.

“I wanted to find out whether Mawson had been forced to break the ultimate taboo and cannibalise his colleagues to survive,” Tim said.

Tim, who has Master degrees in both Environmental Science and Environmental Law, will talk about his experience at a free public hour-long lecture When hell freezes at Curtin University on 18 August from 6.30pm.

His expedition was made into a successful film and book

Mawson’s 1912 journey turned tragic when one of his colleagues fell down a crevice just over a month after setting off, along with six of the fittest dogs and sled full of supplies, leaving them with 10 days of food rations and more than 450km from their Cape Denison base camp.

Mawson and the remaining adventurer were forced to eat the remaining dogs to survive.

By the time Mawson made it back to base camp, his colleague had died and all the dogs had been killed.

Tim, who received a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2010 for service to conservation and the environment, has undertaken unsupported expeditions to both polar regions and many of the world’s deserts, mountains and rainforests, including a record-breaking journey to the South Pole.

Next year he will attempt to recreate Sir Ernest Shackleton’s famous 1916 journey in which he and five companions sailed the small rowing boat, the James Caird, more than 1200km across the roughest oceans in the world from Elephant Island, Antarctica to mountainous South Georgia Island.

Bookings are essential by emailing or (08) 9266 2563.

Contact: Shaun Ratcliff; Public Relations Coordinator; Curtin; 08 9266 9085; 0401 103 755;