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Cape Royds Hut - built
1908 - Shackleton's 1907-1909 Nimrod Expedition
Cape Royds is situated at the extreme west point
of Ross Island overlooking McMurdo Sound.
The Hut at Cape Royds was built in 1908 for Shackleton's
1907-1909 "Nimrod" expedition. It was built away from the
already existing and nearby Discovery Hut erected by Captain
Scott in 1902 due to an agreement that Scott and Shackleton
Shackleton also agreed not to enter McMurdo
Sound where Scott had built his hut or use the route to
the Pole that Scott had pioneered on the earlier expedition
(even though Shackleton was one of two other men who had
accompanied Scott on his earlier South Pole attempt).
The plan had been to make a base at the Bay of Whales,
but this was not possible due to impenetrable pack ice from
a long stretch of ice shelf that had calved into the sea,
Shackleton had to head into McMurdo Sound despite his promise
to Scott. The Cape Royds hut is about 32km (20 miles) from
Scott's Discovery Hut.
Construction of the specially
designed prefabricated hut took about 10 days, with the
insulation another three weeks. Propped up against the packing
cases towards the left of this picture can be seen a spare
wheel from the very first motor car to be taken to Antarctica
- an Arrol-Johnston.
There was an overwintering party
of 14 men, in December 1908 to January 1909 a 4-man party
consisting of Shackleton, Adams, Wild and Marshall made
an attempt on the South Pole, they came to within 97 miles
(156 km) before accepting that while they could probably
make it to the pole, there was virtually no chance of them
managing to get back alive.
As Shackleton told his
wife later "I thought you'd rather
have a live donkey than a dead lion"
Shackleton was knighted on his return
Picture courtesy of Mike Usher
- Mike went on a Ross Sea expedition on board the Kapitan Khlebnikov
You can purchase a selection of Mike's pictures