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In the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition is legend, but for sheer heroism and tragic nobility, nothing compares to the saga of the Ross Sea party.

This crew of explorers landed on the opposite side of Antarctica from the Endurance with a mission to build supply depots for Shackleton’s planned crossing of the continent. Their ship 'Aurora' disappeared in a gale, leaving ten inexperienced, ill-equipped men to trek 1,356 miles in the harshest environment on earth.

Despite setbacks, the Ross Sea party survived inter-personnel disputes, extreme weather, illness and the deaths of three of its members, to carry out its mission in full during its second Antarctic season. This success proved ultimately without purpose, because Shackleton's main expedition was unable to land after Endurance was crushed in the Weddell Sea ice. Shackleton eventually led his men to safety, but the transcontinental march did not take place and the Ross Sea party's depots were not required.

The Ross Sea party remained stranded until January 1917, when Aurora, which had been repaired and refitted in New Zealand, arrived to rescue them.

In 2014, there was an exciting find: 22 never-before-seen cellulose nitrate negatives discovered inside Captain Robert Falcon Scott's last expedition base at Cape Evans on Ross Island in Antarctica.

The photos were from Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1917 Ross Sea Party, frozen in time for 100 years.

To find out more about these photographs, visit the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust  web site at

VASSdesign related Art

Ross Sea Party Sign Demo 01 sm.jpg


  by VASSdesign

This image is an artist rendition reproduction concept of one of the images recovered in 2014. Comes aged with vintage wood frame.

A must have for Shackleton enthusiasts! Part of the 'Age of Polar Exploration' collection.

Ross Sea Party Sign Demo 02 sm.jpg

For more Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition art, be sure to visit the "Voyage of the James Caird" section, and "Trans-Antarctic Expedition" section of this web site.

More to come!!

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