CROSSING OF ANTARCTICA. The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58

(London: Cassell & Co., Ltd., 1958).

A FIRST EDITION COPY OF THIS SCARCE ACCOUNT OF ANTARCTIC ADVENTURE. “On 24 November, 1957, twelve men set out from Shackleton Base equipped with eight vehicles, sledges and two dog teams to cross more than two thousand miles of unexplored snow and ice. In front of them lay unknown mountain ranges and an ice wall; there were vast areas in which innumerable crevasses, hidden by thin layers of snow, threatened to engulf the vehicles as the snow coverings collapsed; there were other areas in which the winds had piled the snow into serrated iron-hard ridges of ice that produced a surface like a choppy sea suddenly frozen. To these hazards was added the dangerous phenomena of ‘white-out’, an atmospheric condition producing the Antarctic equivalent of a pea-soup fog, in which all sense of direction is lost.
“Meanwhile, on the other side of the Antarctic continent Sir Edmund Hillary probed the immense Skelton Glacier from the Ross Sea, and blazed a trail for the crossing party to follow after they had reached the Pole. To Hillary goes the achievement of reaching the South Pole by land for the first time since Captain Scott planted the British flag there forty-six years ago.
“This book is the full story told by the leader of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition and by Sir Edmund Hillary, leader of the New Zealand support party. Beginning with the landing of the advance party in November 1955 to establish a base on the Weddell Sea when, like Shackleton, Fuchs found his ship trapped by ice, it tells the story of the two years of preparation and reconnaissance that led up to the final attempt... But above all, it is a thrilling story of men who set out into the vast loneliness of the unknown to discover what lay on and below a continent no one had ever traversed before and, in so doing, accomplished a feat of courage and endurance that will become a legend for succeeding generations” (dustjacket).
An important piece of Antarcticana. Item #27561

First edition. With 30 color and 63 black and white photos, 9 maps. 8vo, publisher's original pale blue cloth lettered in silver on the spine, cartographic endpapers, in the original colour illustrated dustjacket. [xvii], 338 pp. A handsome and fine copy, mellowed just a bit, the jacket in very nice condition with only minimal evidence of age.

Price: $125.00