Scott's Hut

the questions continue...

Dear Mr. Dave,

Hi how are you doing? I am fine. I am writing to you to answer the question about Scott's Hut. I think that Scott built the hut where it is because that is where they probably were. Scott and his companions first stopped there and they needed a place to come back to so they would know that they were done with their trip.


Dear Mr. Dave,

That was a pretty tough question, but I think we have a reason why. Because there was the Rose Ice Shelf and they said that they were not going to take the boats that way, so they found a route that took them to the south pole and the boats could fit threw there. So that is where they set there camp up. Also Scott wanted to follow the same route as Ronald Amundsen. This was a very tough question. I am going to ask you a question, dealing with this same one: What mountains did Scott and his men travel on? Well I have to go. BYE-BYE!!

Your friend,

Hi Rhae and Ashley,

It sounds like you are really digging for the answer to my question. It was not an easy question, and I am not sure if we will find the answer. I have access here at McMurdo to some good books on the early explorers. We have a library for general use, as well as a scientific library in the Crary Labs. My friend and coworker Matt purchased a book at Scott Base about the huts in the Ross Island area. There are several huts in the area, indicating this area was a popular place to start expeditions.

Matt also purchased a book in a used book store in New Zealand, that is the journals of Scott's Last Expedition. It looks very interesting, but can be difficult reading. I have been working some long days the past few weeks, and have not had time to read much, but hopefully I will have more time in the winter.

I will give you my ideas why Scott's hut was placed here. The water in this area is rich with whales and seals. The first sight of the continent of Antarctica was probably from a ship that was harvesting seals and whales. As they saw the continent from the sea, they would see high mountains and glaciers that flowed into the sea.

If you can find some good topographical maps of Antarctica, you will see many high mountains. I saw a model of the continent in a Museum in Christchurch New Zealand, that showed the mountains, but also the ice. For example, at the south pole, the elevation of the land is not really high, but the elevation is 2 miles. The reason for the high altitude is the accumulation of ice. On the map it appears the mountains are holding back all the ice, and the glaciers drain the ice to the sea like rivers. The glaciers do move slowly, but provide a fairly gradual climb into the interior. It would be much easier to travel up a glacier, than climb a mountain.

The Ross Ice Shelf is formed by many glaciers draining the interior of the continent. The edge of the shelf is the southern most point that can be reached by boat. This allowed the explorers to get as close as possible to their destination, and set up a site where they could use as their base camp. The base camp could be used to stock supplies for the journey.

So here is my idea, which is very close to your ideas. They needed a spot to serve as a base camp for supplies, that would be accessible by ships. The spot should be as far south as possible. The spot should have wide glaciers, to allow a gradual climb into the interior. Amundsen also started at the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, but at a different spot. Although their path were close, they did take different routes across the ice shelf, and different glaciers into the interior.

I cannot answer Rhae's question about the name of the mountain on which the expedition traveled. Scott's expedition traveled across the Ross Ice Shelf, and then up the Beardmore Glacier, to King Edward VII Plateau. There were mountains all around them, but it does not look like they crossed any mountains.

Thanks for looking for the answers, I do not think we are ever going to be finished on this subject. If you find anything new, or have any questions, let's see what we can find.

David Hess NK3T
Presently living in Greater downtown McMurdo, on the beautiful Ross Island in the continent of Antartica.

Patricia A. Weeg
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