Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Shackleton's 1914 Antarctica Sketch

In 1914 Ernest Shackleton sketched out his plan to cross Antarctica on a menu card for the London Devonian Society's Annual Dinner.
Shackleton served on two previous Antarctic expeditions but Roald Amundsen was the first to reach the South Pole, in 1911. After failing to be the first at the South Pole, Shackleton switched his focus to crossing the Continent, from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea. Here is the map in as much detail as I can find it online.
The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition left Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 26, 1914 hoping to reach the continent by December and the South Pole by Christmas, 1914. The ship got stuck in ice in the Weddell Sea for almost a year and was finally crushed by the ice. The last contact was made from South Georgia on December 3rd, 1914. Here is a map from a 1916 Daily Telegraph article discussing the lack of news from the Expedition - via xefer.

The party endured a horrific multi-year rescue but they all eventually returned home alive. For more details see Wikipedia, or wait for the movie Endurance to be released next year.

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