Gear from 1910-13 Scott Polar Expedition at Christie's

L.H. Hagen & Co skis and poles from Scott's 1910-13 South Pole expedition.

For just $9,00-12,000 (or so) you can buy a pair of polar worthy skis with an epic story your ski buddies will be hard-pressed to top.

Charles Seymour Wright, a Canadian member of the 1910-1913 British Antarctic Expedition, was wearing those skis when he discovered the frozen remains of expedition leader Captain Robert Falcon Scott.

Scott and four team members reached the South Pole in January 1912, only to learn that Norwegian Roald Amundsen had beaten them by a month. All five died on the trek back to basecamp.

Wright, the expedition's physicist and glaciologist, had traveled with Scott within 283 miles of the pole, but wasn't selected for the final polar push. He navigated for the search party the following spring and located the group's tent and bodies in November 1912.

The skis and bamboo poles, along with Wright's sledding equipment, photos, manuscripts, and scientific equipment from the expedition are up for bid on Wednesday at Christies.

Wright's grandson, Adrian Raeside, is selling the collection, which is valued at between $235,000 and $390,000 (£150,000-£250,000).

In to a letter to his father, Wright described the struggle to haul gear southbound on the skis:

"8 pm Dec 8 -- still here practically raining now, surface awful. One sinks in never less than 18 ins and usually 30 ins. Tried pulling sledge on ski. Can manage 175lbs per man. But it will be awfully hard work & slow work unless something happens shortly. Ponies go in upto their bellies every step. ... Wish I had mocassins and snow shoes down here as I would like to convince Capt. Scott of their superiority over ski. ...

"To help my navigation ... I hammered a few copper nail into my ski near to the bow turn up to mark 15°, 30°, 45° and so on. These proved useful for maintaining a direction but not for setting a course for which one had to use a magnetic compass."

Place your bids at

Skis: 218.4 cm / 86 in

Bamboo poles with baskets: 152.4 cm / 60 in

Read AP Article

[via The Adventure Blog and The Goat]

Filed under: Gear News


0 reviewer rep
1,142 forum posts
September 22, 2010 at 3:59 a.m. (EDT)

A little out of my price range, but I'd love to look the gear over, quite fun to see the collection.

73 reviewer rep
303 forum posts
September 22, 2010 at 12:22 p.m. (EDT)

Here you go Alan:

It takes a little digging, but you can pull up all the items. Refine the search with "All other categories of objects" and you get quite a few pieces of equipment.

0 reviewer rep
1,142 forum posts
September 23, 2010 at 10:49 a.m. (EDT)

Thanks for the link and sadly all are out of my price range at the moment.

848 reviewer rep
3,897 forum posts
September 23, 2010 at 12:46 p.m. (EDT)

I think it's interesting to see what gear, photos, and artifacts from expeditions and exploration are still available out there, for collectors with the money, of course.

FYI, the skis went for $16,522 (£10,625). Maybe someone bought them for Alan as a present!

I think the pocket sextant is interesting. It was "only" $6,803 (£4,375).

Scott's silk Union Jack flag went for $113,904 (£73,250)!

My budget certainly doesn't allow for such collecting, but I wonder, if I had the chance to have one piece of historical piece of gear what would I pick?

0 reviewer rep
1,142 forum posts
September 23, 2010 at 2:21 p.m. (EDT)

Alicia, I'll let you know if the UPS driver delivers the skis. If I had the chance to have a piece of historical gear it might be a compass or possibly a map.

Speaking of vintage kit, an interesting post on Spiritburner regarding the Primus stove setup from the 1953 Everest expedition.

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