Douglas Mawson:
Remembers the Violent Winds

Douglas Mawson, 1882-1958,
Australian geologist, explorer, teacher

Australian geologist Douglas Mawson’s made his first trip to the Antarctic continent in 1907 with Shackleton’s British Antarctic Expedition. He later declined an offer from Robert Scott to join the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition and instead organized his own team to chart the unexplored Antarctic coastline directly south of Australia.

After sailing his ship through 900 miles of pack ice, Mawson and his crew set up a base camp at Cape Dennison on Commonwealth Bay on January 8, 1911. The expedition team endured a winter of gale-force winds and unrelenting snow. The average daily wind speed was 65 mph. During a perilous trek by dog sled the following summer, Mawson returned to base camp alone after his two companions perished on the ice.