A Shackleton Reaches the South Pole

Relative of legendary polar explorer Ernest Shackleton fulfills family dream.

ByABC News
February 9, 2010, 5:19 PM

Feb. 9, 2010— -- When Navy Commander Scott Shackleton stepped off a C-130 aircraft and set foot on the South Pole today, he set a family record. His distant relative, the legendary Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, had tried and failed repeatedly to reach the Pole a century ago.

Sir Ernest Shackleton is best known for his horrific journey to lead the stranded crew of his ship, the Endurance, to safety after a failed attempt to cross Antarctica in 1914.

The journey has become the stuff of legend. Shackleton led his men in lifeboats across ice-clogged waters to South Georgia Island -- where they then had to scale the island's snow-capped mountains to reach the safety of a whaling station on the other side of the island.

Scott Shackleton's journey today was less challenging. Modern technology makes Antarctic travel easier. But his journey fulfills the family dream of having a Shackleton reach the South Pole.

His wish came true.

At McMurdo Station, Scott Shackleton had already reconnected with his famous relative when he visited the hut of Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated 1912 expedition. Shackleton had participated in an earlier Scott expedition.