After watching the movie North Face and beginning to read In the Land of White Death, I was struck by just how different these adventures are. In the movie, the climbers who attempt the face are considered to be in league with Olympic athletes. Not only do Kurz and Hinterstoisser undertake this adventure willingly, but they are also surrounded by supporters and tourists who become very invested in their actions. In stark contrast, Albanov chooses to begin his adventure narrative when he and others set out from the ship. Although Albanov and the others did willingly set sail on the ship, none of them anticipated having to journey under life-threatening conditions. No one knew that these men were about to set off on a life-threatening attempt to make it back home.
What is most interesting to me is where the book itself begins. It is as if Albanov does not consider the time on the ship itself an adventure. Only when the men decide to set off across the ice does the adventure begin. This again begs the question, "what makes an adventure?" For Kurz and Hinterstoisser, the adventure was created by putting themselves at risk to achieve greatness. For Albanov and the others who set out from the Saint Anna, the adventure was forced upon them when the ship became frozen in the ice and Albanov had to make survival choices. For Albanov, this is where the adventure begins: not on the ship, where he had planned to be, but in his journey across the ice, where he was forced to be.
As we try to define adventure, it is very interesting to compare the narratives that others have considered to be "adventures." The stories in the movie North Face and in the book In the Land of White Death are very different types of adventure.