Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Shackleton, after waiting for established air route and better food, gets to South Pole

OK, not that Shackleton. But a distance relative of the old man became not the first, but about the gazillionth person to make it to the South Pole.

From the Military Times:


   After five attempts, a Shackleton has finally made it to the South Pole.

   Navy Reserve Cmdr. Scott Shackleton reached the pole the night of Feb. 9 while serving on a three-week resupply mission helping prepare the scientific communities stationed there for the Antarctic winter from mid-February until October.

   Scott Shackleton's distant cousin, famed British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, made four unsuccessful attempts to plant a flag at the geographic bottom of the earth before he died of a heart attack on his last expedition in 1922.

   "It's a beautiful and mystical place," said Scott Shackleton in a phone interview from McMurdo Station just hours before he was scheduled to leave the continent and begin his journey home. "It's unlike anywhere else in the world. I understand now why he kept coming back to explore, and I hope I get another chance to come here, too."

   Scott Shackleton's job was to oversee the offload of a tanker and a container ship. He made it to the South Pole in an Air Force C-130 aircraft, which was making ferry runs with supplies to sustain those living at the South Pole for another year.

   During Ernest Shackleton's second expedition, he got within 97 miles of the geographic pole - the farthest south anyone had made it until that time.

   His hopes to be the first to the pole were dashed when Norwegian Roald Amundsen and his party got there Dec. 14, 1911.