Using the Blog

I am using this Blog to talk about my Web Site - Scott's Northern Party 1911-1913 - - and about items of interest relating to it. From time to time, as I find new material, I will update the existing web pages. When this happens, I shall use this Blog to let you know of significant changes.


Victor Campbell's sketch of the Mount Nansen Range

When and where?
The following panoramic  sketch, can be found in Campbell’s hand written diary opposite the entries for 9 and 10 January 1912.  This diary is part of the Victor Campbell Archive held at the Memorial University of Newfoundland.   When looking at the sketch,  we see the names, Mossyface, Pinetree, or Cape Sastrugi—these, except for Mossyface were to be coined much later.  Had Campbell (or someone else) put the sketch beside the wrong diary entries?
Figure 1 - Campbell's panoramic sketch  from Cape MossyFace around past the Priestly Glacier to
the Reeves Galcier (MUN Victor Campbell's Archive).
 The coverage of Campbell’s panoramic drawing  can be explained  with the aid of the four Coloured lines and numbers placed on both the sketch and map.  These markings help to locate sections from the sketch to regions on the map.

Figure 2 - Map showing areas included in the sketch.
Campbell does not mention in his diaries when he drew the sketch.  If now we want to know the date it is important to determine where he was when the sketch was drawn.  I have tried using the same technique that has proven useful with photographs.
This is to:
  1. Select particular features in the picture; 
  2. Measure the distance between the features; 
  3. Convert these to a simple ration; 
  4. Use Google Earth to locate these features; 
  5. Draw a line passing  through the features such that the separations have the same ratios.

    In the case of this sketch, it was difficult to pin point the area accurately.  However, it became clear that to be able to see:
    1.    Cape Mosyface, Cape Sastrugi, and the Black ridge so close together Campbell must have been south of Cape Mosyface with an acute angle of view to the north;
    2.    Pinetree (Priestley) Glacier, and the mountains and cliffs to the West without seeing Vegetation Island then Campbell was North of the Island;
    3.    The cliffs on the north side of the Reeves Glacier such that the forward lower and the higher rear peaks were in line puts straight across from this cliff.

    Figure 3 - A  Google Earth photo showing Inexpressible Island to the Pinetree (Priestley) Glacier in the North and Melbourne Glacier (Browning Pass) in the east to the Reeves Glacier in the West.

    In addition from Campbell’s diaries he was in the area where the sketch was drawn on the night 9 January  on the outward journey and again on the nights  4 and 5 February  when returning. Although he makes no mention in his diary of making the sketch on either of these stops. As he was suffering from snow blindness during his stay in February it is reasonable to assume the sketch was made on January, 9.  Also from the diaries:

    • Campbell writes on 4 February  We camped to-night about 6 miles off the main depot’;
    • Priestley in his book states ‘I was very anxious to examine an island a little off our line of march’;
    •  Campbell’s  then writes on 5 February ‘Levick and Abbott did the slopes north of us’
    Figure 4 - The following Google Earth photo shows Inexpressible Island, and Hell's Gate to Cape Mossyface.
    The above Google Earth photo showing Inexpressible Island, and  Hell’s Gate to Cape Mossyface has the following features marked:
    1. The party’s  line-of-march (green line);
    2. Vegetation Island coast line away from the line-of-march (blue line);
    3. South of some slopes (red line) opposite the island;
    4. 6 miles from the Hell’s Gate Depot(Black ellipse).

     This places the camp on 4 and 5 February between Vegetation Island and the Northern Foothills.  Looking at the map in figure 2, it can be seen that Campbell could not see the Reeves Glacier as the view was blocked by Vegetation Island. 

    My conclusion is: Campbell made his sketch from the site of their camp on 9 January 1912, and some of the place names were added sometime later. 

    Don Webster
    19 May, 2011

    No comments:

    Post a Comment