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One hundred years ago Sir Ernest Shackleton set off on his Antarctic expedition wearing Jaeger.

Fast-forward to 2015, and a new team of Jaeger-clad explorers are following in his famous footsteps.
Here, journalist Jonathan Thompson tells us how the epic voyage begins...

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It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

The sun is shining on the docks of Ushuaia - the most southerly city on the planet - and we're about to board the Ocean Diamond: the ice-reinforced vessel that will take us across the ocean from Argentina to Antarctica.

Our destination - The Great White Continent - was a full blown obsession for Sir Ernest Shackleton, the renowned Anglo-Irish explorer who also set sail for its frozen shores from Argentina, almost exactly a century ago.

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Shackleton's goal was so ambitious it was borderline outrageous. Less than three years after his erstwhile colleague Captain Robert Falcon Scott had died in an attempt to become the first man to reach the South Pole, Shackleton was aiming to cross the entire Antarctic continent on foot. He planned to travel from West to East, through the South Pole and out the other side again, covering a landmass 1.4 times the size of the United States of America.

Already a vastly experienced adventurer with two Antarctic expeditions to his name, Shackleton had prepared rigorously for this, the 'Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition'. He only wanted the very best clothing and equipment for himself and his team, because he knew it could mean the difference between life and death on the ice. For the expedition clothing, he turned to Jaeger.

The company, inspired by the groundbreaking theories of Dr. Gustav Jaeger, had made its name since the late 19th Century as one of the best manufacturers of woollen garments in the world. And during his own experiences in the Frozen South, Shackleton had seen (and felt) enough to know it was the kit he must have for this mission.

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As his ship The Endurance sailed away from Argentina, all but one of those aboard was dressed in Jaeger garments - an as-yet-undiscovered teenage stowaway hiding under a locker. A little over 100 years later, as we too leave the calm coastline of South America and head out past Cape Horn into the unpredictable waters of the Drake Passage, I find myself reflecting on the so-called 'Golden Age' of polar exploration. Each of the three greats - Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen - crossed the Drake Passage on their

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way into the frozen unknown. Each sailed under these mercurial skies, pushing through the same steely grey waves as pods of whales swam under their ships and wandering albatrosses circled overhead. But each had his different modus operandi, and history has judged them accordingly.

As another adventurer from the Golden Age, Sir Raymond Priestley, put it: "For scientific leadership, give me Scott; for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen; but when you are in a hopeless situation, when there seems to be no way out... get on your knees and pray for Shackleton."

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