Wednesday, February 6, 6:30 p.m., the Wilkinson Public Library and Between the Covers bookstore host Silverton resident John H. Wright, who is speaking about a little walk he took. In 2006, Wright and a crew blazed a new road to the South Pole. The last man to try that hike perished in the attempt in 1912.

The Antarctic is the last vast terrestrial frontier. Just over a century ago, no one had ever seen the South Pole. Today odd machines and adventure skiers from many nations converge there every summer, arriving from numerous starting points on the Antarctic coast and returning some other way. But not until very recently has anyone completed a round trip from McMurdo Station, the U.S. support hub on the continental coast.The valuable surface route from McMurdo remained elusive until Wright & Co. conquered it.

“Blazing Ice” is Wright’s story of his team of Americans who forged a thousand-mile transcontinental “haul route” across Antarctica. For decades airplanes from McMurdo Station supplied the South Pole. A safe and repeatable surface haul route would have been cheaper and more environmentally benign than airlift, but the technology was not available until 2000.

As Wright reveals in this gripping narrative, the hazards of Antarctic terrain and weather were as daunting for twenty-first century pioneers as they were for Norway’s Roald Amundsen and England’s Robert Falcon Scott when they raced to be first to the South Pole in 1911-1912. Wright and his team faced deadly hidden crevasses, vast snow swamps, the Transantarctic Mountains, badlands of weird wind sculpted ice, and the high Polar Plateau.

“Blazing Ice” should appeal to Antarctic aficionados, conservationists, field scientists, and adventure readers of all stripes – and Telluride mountaineers and dreamers.

About John Wright:

John H. Wright served as the U.S. Antarctic Program explosives engineer for five years, executed the South Pole Tunnel project over the course of four years, and later headed the South Pole Traverse Proof-of-Concept project. He has published authoritative engineering articles and presented papers at numerous scientific conferences.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.