Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton In 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton, aboard the Endurance, set off on an expedition to complete the first ever land-crossing of the Antarctic continent - coast to coast via the South Pole. This is the story of that fateful voyage, told by Shackleton himself.
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton This is the first in a comprehensive two-volume series documenting the British Antarctic Expedition of 1907 to 1909. This volume begins with the preparations for the journey and continues through the party's march to the South Pole and back. The volume also includes numerous stunning photographs of the expedition.
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton This autobiographical work by Ernest Shackleton documents the 1914–1917 Trans-Antarctic Expedition, the fate of the ship Endurance, the harrowing years spent stranded in Antarctica and the eventual rescue by Shackleton and other members of the crew of the Elephant Island party. The work includes several fantastic photographs by expedition photographer, Frank Hurley.
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton This is the second in a comprehensive two-volume series documenting the British Antarctic Expedition of 1907 to 1909. This volume begins with the summer at the Winter Quarters and ends with Professor David's narrative of the first journey to the magnetic South Pole. The volume also includes numerous stunning photographs of the expedition.
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton This book was written and published over an Antarctic winter during the Nimrod Expedition of 1908–1909 when Ernest Shackleton encouraged the project to stave off despair and ennui. It is unknown whether Shackleton intended to sell the estimated 100 copies that the crew produced, but it seems that rather the copies were distributed amongst the crew and given as gifts after their return to New Zealand. The first few pages of this edition include signatures from some of the crew members.
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton If Ross Island be likened to a castle, flanking that wall the the world's end, The Great Ice Barrier, Erebus is the castle keep. Its flanks and foothills clothed with spotless now, patched with the pale blue of glacier ice, its active crater crowned with a spreading smoke cloud, and overlooking the vast white plain of the Barrier to the East and South, the dark waters of Ross Sea and McMurdo Sound to the North and West, and still further West, the snowy summits of the extinct volcanoes of Victoria Land, Erebus not only commands a view of incomparable grandeur and interest, but is in itself one of the fairest and most majestic sights that Earth can show.
Erebus, as seen from our winter quarters, showed distinctly the traces of the three craters, observed from a distance by the British National Antarctic Expedition of 1901 - 04. From sea level up to about 5,500 feet, the lower slopes ascend in a gentle but gradually steepening curve to the base of the first crater. They are largely covered with snow and glacier ice down to the shore, where the ice either breaks off to form a cliff, or, as at Glacier Tongue, spreads out seawards in the form of a narrow blue pier five miles in length: near Cape Rows, however, there are three long smooth ridges of brown glacial gravels and moraines mostly bare of snow.
Those are interspersed with masses of black volcanic rock, and extend to an altitude of about 1,000ft. Above this, and up to above 5,000 feet above the sea, all is snow and ice, except of an occasional outcrop of dark lava, or a black parasitic cone, sharply silhouetted agains the light background of snow or sky.
At a level of about 6,000 feet, and just north of the second, or main crater, rises a huge black fang of rock, the relic of the oldest and lowest crater. Immediately south of this the principal cone sweeps upwards in that graceful double curve, concave below, convex above, so characteristic of volcanos.
Rugged buttresses of dark volcanic rock, with steep snow slopes between, jut out at intervals, and support the rim of this second crater, which reaches an altitude of fully 11,400 feet. From the north edge of this crater the ground seemed to ascend, at first gradually, then somewhat abruptly to the third crater, now active, further south. It is above this last crater that there continually floats a huge steam cloud. At the time of Ross’ Expedition this cloud was reddened with the glow of molten lava, and some thought they saw lava streams descending from the crater. The National Antarctic Expedition had also once or twice witnessed a similar glow, and although, during the few weeks we had been at Cape Royds we had not observed a similar phenomenon, we had at times seen the great steam cloud shoot up suddenly, in the space of a minute or so, to a height of fully 2,000 feet above the mountain top. This sudden uprush was obviously the result of a vast steam explosion in the interior of the volcano, and proved that it still possessed considerable activity.
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton I decided to leave South Georgia about December 5, and in the intervals of final preparation scanned again the plans for the voyage to winter quarters. What welcome was the Weddell Sea preparing for us? The whaling captains at South Georgia were generously ready to share with me their knowledge of the waters in which they pursued their trade, and, while confirming earlier information as to the extreme severity of the ice conditions in this sector of the Antarctic, they were able to give advice that was worth attention.
It will be convenient to state here briefly some of the considerations that weighed with me at that time and in the weeks that followed. I knew that the ice had come far north that season and, after listening to the suggestions of the whaling captains, had decided to steer to the South Sandwich Group, round Ultima Thule, and work as far to the eastward as the fifteenth meridian west longitude before pushing south. The whalers emphasized the difficulty of getting through the ice in the neighbourhood of the South Sandwich Group. They told me they had often seen the floes come right up to the group in the summer-time, and they thought the Expedition would have to push through heavy pack in order to reach the Weddell Sea. Probably the best time to get into the Weddell Sea would be the end of February or the beginning of March. The whalers had gone right round the South Sandwich Group and they were familiar with the conditions. The predictions they made induced me to take the deck-load of coal, for if we had to fight our way through to Coats’ Land we would need every ton of fuel the ship could carry.
I hoped that by first moving to the east as far as the fifteenth meridian west we would be able to go south through looser ice, pick up Coats’ Land and finally reach Vahsel Bay, where Filchner made his attempt at landing in 1912. Two considerations were occupying my mind at this juncture. I was anxious for certain reasons to winter the Endurance in the Weddell Sea, but the difficulty of finding a safe harbour might be very great. If no safe harbour could be found, the ship must winter at South Georgia. It seemed to me hopeless now to think of making the journey across the continent in the first summer, as the season was far advanced and the ice conditions were likely to prove unfavourable. In view of the possibility of wintering the ship in the ice, we took extra clothing from the stores at the various stations in South Georgia.