Explorer Dies in Record-Breaking Antarctic Crossing

GEOGRAPHY

Explorer Henry Worsley died as he tried to cross Antarctica unaided. (BBC)

Use our high-resolution map—packed with info about expeditions, stations, wildlife, climate, and more—to better understand the world’s most unexplored continent.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit.

This beautiful Nat Geo map shows the routes of historic and modern Antarctic explorers. Greyscale routes are historic: Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole; his British competition, Robert Falcon Scott; legendary explorer Ernest Shackleton; and the British Trans-Antarctic Expedition, which was the first overland crossing of the continent. Colored routes are modern: Borge Ousland, the first to cross the continent unaided by mechanical equipment; Cecilie Skog and Ryan Waters, the first to cross the continent unaided by any equipment; and Henry Worsley, who died after an attempt to be the first person to mimic Skog and Waters’ feat solo. Map by Andrew Umentum, National Geographic

This beautiful Nat Geo map shows the routes of historic and modern Antarctic explorers. Greyscale routes are historic: Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole; his British competition, Robert Falcon Scott; legendary explorer Ernest Shackleton; and the British Trans-Antarctic Expedition, which was the first overland crossing of the continent. Colored routes are modern: Borge Ousland, the first to cross the continent unaided by mechanical equipment; Cecilie Skog and Ryan Waters, the first to cross the continent unaided by any equipment; and Henry Worsley, who died after an attempt to be the first person to mimic Skog and Waters’ feat solo.
Map by Andrew Umentum, National Geographic

Discussion Ideas

  • Take a look at the Nat Geo map above. Why do you think so many Antarctic explorers follow such similar routes to the South Pole and across the continent?
    • It’s the shortest distance across the lopsided continent.
      • In fact, according to our terrific encyclopedic entry, “Without any ice, Antarctica would emerge as a giant peninsula and archipelago of mountainous islands, known as Lesser Antarctica (West Antarctica), and a single large landmass about the size of Australia, known as Greater Antarctica (East Antarctica).”
      • In addition to being much, much larger, explorers tend to avoid East Antarctica because its mountains are taller and it is perennially the coldest place on the face of the Earth.

 

 

  • The BBC article notes the grief of Prince William and Prince Harry over Worsley’s death. Why was the British royal family so involved in Worsley’s expedition?
    • Both Prince William and Prince Harry served in the military, and Lt. Col Henry Worsley was a career Army officer. Worsley’s expedition also raised more than $150,000 for the Endeavour Fund, a British nonprofit which helps wounded servicemen and women and is managed by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (that’s Prince William and Kate Middleton) and Prince Harry.

 

TEACHERS’ TOOLKIT

BBC: Explorer Henry Worsley dies in Antarctic crossing

Nat Geo: This Man Will Spend 80 Days Walking Antarctica Alone

Nat Geo: 1987 Antarctica hi-res map

Nat Geo: What is Antarctica?

Nat Geo: Børge Ousland, Polar Explorer

Endeavour Fund

2 responses to “Explorer Dies in Record-Breaking Antarctic Crossing

  1. I’m heartbroken this courageous British soldier was unable to fulfill his lifes dream. Albeit Henry Wolsley has died, without crossing completely unaided. He should receive the British Highest Honour possible for his unprecedented valour & for such a worthy trust charity. The King is dead. Long live the King!

    Like

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