Explorer Henry Worsley, who was on the brink of making history with the first solo crossing of the Antarctic, said he had reached the limits of his physical endurance.
In a poignant final message, he wrote: "My journey is at an end."
The ex-Army officer (55), from Fulham, London, was just 30 miles from becoming the first adventurer to cross the continent unsupported and unassisted when he had to call for help and was airlifted off the ice on Friday.
He was flown to a hospital in Punta Arenas in Chile, where he was found to have bacterial peritonitis. He underwent surgery but died on Sunday. Worsley was trying to complete the unfinished journey of Sir Ernest Shackleton.