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Impossible Journey: The Story of the Victoria Land Traverse 1959-1960, Antarctica

John G. Weihaupt

This volume, written by Victoria Land Traverse team members, is a scientific, historical, and adventurous account of a four-month, 2400-km journey into the unexplored hinterland of East Antarctica. A critical link in the International Geophysical Year/U.S. Antarctic Research Program, the traverse team conducted seismic, gravity, magnetic, geological, glaciological, and atmospheric surveys over the continental ice sheet, discovering the Wilkes Subglacial Basin, the Wilkes Land Gravity Anomaly, the Outback Nunataks, the USARP Mountain Range, and the upper reaches of the Rennick Glacier. In so doing, the traverse encountered heavy crevassing on the Skelton Glacier, where SnoCats frequently broke through snow bridges, threatening the end of the traverse. On the high plateau, fuel shortages and frequent equipment failures also threatened to terminate the journey. The latter portions of the traverse were marked by near catastrophes in the vicinity of the Mertz and Ninnis Glaciers, and on the glaciers of the Transantarctic Mountains, where unknown and initially undetected substantial crevasse fields were encountered. This account has been constructed a half-century later from the traverse team’s scientific field notes and personal journals.

ISBN : 9780813724881

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