On November 8, 2017, a plane dropped Saunders — who was 40 at the time — at Berkner Island, just off the coast of the Weddell Sea (to see a map, click here). Like Ernest Shackleton (although Shackleton was ultimately unsuccessful), Saunders was aiming to reach a point on the southern coast where the Ross Ice Shelf meets the land. For the next seven weeks, his only connections to the outside world were a satellite phone (only for emergencies), a tracker to keep a remote team aware of his position on an hourly basis, and a smartphone he used to write emails and blog posts. He skied an average of 15.5 miles during 9- to 10-hour days while pulling a sledge that held all the food and equipment he’d need for the journey and weighed 300 pounds at the trip’s start.