The diary entries of polar exlorer Sir Douglas Mawson can now be read on Twitter, one hundred years afer the Australian set out to explore Antarctica's King George V Land. The Tasmanian Department of Economic Development and Tourism, as part of Antarctic Centennial Year, is doing the tweeting. Given though that Mawson was a prolific diary writer it must a challenge to distill his words down to 140 characters. At this stage the expedition is still loading supplies in London.
The publishing of old diaries on Twitter is hardly a new idea as Captain Scott's appeared back in 2009. However, there is a Mawson link with communication technology as he was involved in establishing the first Antarctic wireless radio connection, linking Hobart via a radio relay station established at Wireless Hill on Macquarie Island.
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Thursday, 16 June 2011
An excellent profile of the rock-climber Colin Kirkus recently appeared on the Footless Crow blog. It tells the story of how the clerk from a Liverpool insurance office "strode like a Colossus across the British climbing scene", putting up a series of hard routes during the late1920s and early-1930s, However, after a fatal accident on Ben Nevis in 1934 in which he was seriously injured and his climbing partner, Maurice Linnell, died, Kirkus never fully recovered - both physically or the urge to create new lines.
I always wanted to include a piece about Colin Kirkus in the Guardian Book of Mountains, particularly a review of his 1941 book, Let's Go Climbing! Alas, the paper didn't cover it. On a more sombre note, on April 2 1934 it carried a detailed report of the Ben Nevis accident and on April 20, an interview with him. (click on images to enlarge)