SCOTT & The South-Pole

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3 - "The Nimrod Expedition" (190709)

The Nimrod Expedition, or more formally, The British Antarctic Expedition of 190709, was the first of three expeditions to the Antarctic led by Ernest Shackleton.

We read in wikipedia where the expedition "lacked governmental or institutional support, and relied on private loans and individual contributions." It was underfunded and hurried. Its ship, Nimrod, was less than half of the size of the Discovery, Scott's ship on his first expedition, The Discovery Expedition (19011904). The scientific team carried out extensive geological, zoological and meteorological work. Shackleton tried out a number of methods for transport, including Manchurian ponies, motor sledges, and dogs; all of which were later adopted by Scott in The Terra Nova Expedition (19101912), the main subject of this work.

While Shackleton supported the geographical and scientific work that was to be done, his main goal was to hike to the South-Pole. They tried, and after Herculean efforts travelling 700 miles over polar ice and mountains of 10,000 feet, Shackleton and his men came within 112 miles of the Pole.

Overall, Shackleton had accomplished much in his Nimrod Expedition:

"Starting from a base close to Scott's Discovery anchorage in McMurdo Sound, Shackleton had crossed the Great Ice Barrier, discovered the Beardmore Glacier route to the Polar Plateau, and had struck out for the Pole. He had been forced to turn for home at 88 23' S, less than 100 miles from his objective. However, Scott claimed prescriptive rights to the McMurdo Sound area, describing it as his own 'field of work,' and Shackleton's use of the area as a base was in breach of an undertaking not to do so. This soured relations between the two explorers, and increased Scott's determination to surpass Shackleton's achievements."9



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Peter Landry