Sunday, January 6, 2013

Why? Winter Crossing of Antarctica

Map Of Route - October 2012Why would you do it? Cross Antarctica in winter when everything freezes and the air is too cold to breathe?  The usual Brit rationale - "science", which ended up with Robert Falcon Scott dead and Shackleton a hero for saving the lives of his teammates.  Edward J. Larson explores that history in his excellent An Empire of Ice, `Scott, Shackleton and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science'.  I love the Shackleton story but prefer the Amundsen approach - get there and get back.  The great Norwegian got to the South Pole and sailed the northwest passage.
So now the great British expeditionist Sir Ranulph Fiennes has organized a mission to cross the continent in winter.  The Vendee Glove reminds me that everything breaks.  And when it breaks in the Antarctic in winter what do you do?  The Coldest Journey tells the story.  And the expedition blog will chronicle it.  the fun starts now.