“It seems as though we were truly at the world’s end and were bursting in on the birthplace of the clouds and the nesting home of the four winds,” wrote Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1909 as he and three companions trudged toward the South Pole. Cold, in all its brutal guises, shadowed the men with a presence that killed the unprepared, the careless, or the weary. It hovered inside canvas tents, crept into reindeer sleeping bags, and marked faces with hard white patches, pale emblems of the landscapes that these men explored.
This guidebook describes the continent’s natural and manmade edifices and weaves the history of human exploration into each location. Here are the beaches where barefoot sealers slaughtered fur seals and in turn exposed the pathos of the human heart. On Cape Evans in the Ross Sea Region, a lone hut stands. Inside, rough furnishings offer poignant glimpses into the explorers’ lives. Stiff, hand-knitted wool socks dangle from a top bunk; empty stalls still retain the scent of ponies, mules, and fodder.
Part I presents an overview of the natural and human history of Antarctica. Part II describes many historic locations in each of the four Antarctic regions--the Antarctic Peninsula, the Weddell Sea Region, the Ross Sea Region, East Antarctica and the South Pole--and the Subantarctic Islands. Part III includes the practicalities for Polar journeys. Travel resources, a glossary, a detailed bibliography, a brief section about the author, and reviews of her first book complete this work.