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Tales of the early expeditioners and the hardships they faced

A number of articles recently written and published in The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) tell of the story of remarkable tales of survival by the expeditioners of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition in the most inhospitable environment on earth. Compare that with the ‘luxurious’ conditions expeditioners now experience and you can see that the achievements of the early expeditioners were even more remarkable given the basic infrastructure and their relatively young age and inexperience.

The SMH articles highlight the differences in the conditions and how technology has enabled more accurate scientific data to be recorded, modes of transport - Haggulands vs dog sleds - and exposed the differences in living conditions and quarters.

Heather Rossiter’s book, Mawson’s Forgotten Men and Peter FitzSimons’s book Mawson highlights the struggles of the most simple of tasks to the more complex of tasks - dealing with frostbite, other medical issues and, at times, poor health. All of these issues are discussed in these articles.

The passion displayed by Mawson, Hurley and other expeditioners are feats we would barely consider undertaking today. Science was Mawson's focus rather than being the first to the South Pole.

This page was last modified on November 4, 2011.