Our Far South Expedition
February 25, 2012
Ross Island is home to three historic huts from the Heroic Era of Antarctic exploration: Scott’s 1901 Discovery Expedition Hut at Hut Point, Shackleton’s 1907 Nimrod Expedition Hut at Cape Royds and Scott’s 1910 Terra Nova Hut Expedition Hut at Cape Evans. The Discovery Hut now lies in the shadow of McMurdo Station, but when constructed from an Australian kitset, it shared Winterquarters Bay only with the Discovery, which was moored nearby. The Hut itself proved too cold and difficult to heat for Scott’s men to live in it, so they used it mainly for stores and slept aboard the ship.
|Shackleton's Nimrod Hut at Cape Royds|
In contrast, and 40 km to the north, Shackleton’s Hut at Cape Royds was home for 15 men. It was smaller with a large stove at one end and built in a hollow providing protection from the weather on all sides. This hut has recently been restored by the Antarctic Heritage Trust and should now withstand its next century on the flanks of Mount Erebus – sea level rise permitting. Only about 10 km to the south and across the Barne Glacier, the beach at Cape Evans is home to Scott’s Terra Nova Hut. Far larger and warmer than Discovery Hutt inside, but fairly exposed to the wind, as we discovered yesterday afternoon. Visiting the Hut is a dream for any Antarctic Geologist. To see the geologists quarters in the Hut and remember the feats of Frank Debenham, Edgeworth David, Raymond Priestley, and Griffith Taylor who all contributed to the mapping of the Dry Valleys and the Ice free areas of Victoria Land to the west of Ross Island.
Ross Ice Shelf
|Ross Ice Shelf|