Skis from Scott's Fateful Antarctic Trek on Sale

The skis and instruments of a physicist who accompanied Captain Scott to Antarctica are being sold by the scientist's Canadian grandson.

THE GIST

Canadian scientist Charles Seymour Wright was part of the support team that set off with Robert Scott to Antarctica in 1910.

Wright turned back after a year, leaving Scott and four others to continue their fateful attempt to reach the South Pole.

Wright's skis and other items are now going up for sale at Christie's auctioneers.

The skis and scientific instruments of a physicist who accompanied Captain Scott on his ill-fated trip to the Antarctic will be sold in London next month, Christie's auctioneers said Wednesday.

Canadian scientist Charles Seymour Wright was part of the support team that set off with Captain Robert Falcon Scott in 1910, although he turned back after a year, leaving Scott and four others to continue to the South Pole.

Ten months later, when Scott failed to return, Wright joined the search party and it was he who spotted the tip of a green tent poking out of the ice. Inside, he found the frozen bodies of the adventurer and two of his colleagues.

Wright's sledging kit, skis, scientific instruments and manuscripts, as well as photographs from the ill-fated journey, were gathered together by his Canadian grandson and will be auctioned at Christie's on Sept. 22.

Wright's sledging kit, skis, scientific instruments and manuscripts, as well as photographs from the ill-fated journey, were gathered together by his Canadian grandson and will be auctioned at Christie's on Sept. 22.

"The collection is a poignant souvenir of one of the most famous and tragic journeys in the annals of exploration," said Nicholas Lambourn, director of Exploration and Travel at the auction house.

He added: "This extraordinary collection... takes us right back on to the frozen Antarctic continent with Wright and his fellow sledgers, supporting Scott on his historic and ultimately fatal sledging journey to the South Pole in 1911-12."

Wright was studying physics at Cambridge University when he applied to join Scott's mission, which followed an earlier Antarctic expedition in 1901-04. He became the team's physicist, although he was also a glaciologist and navigator.

Scott made it to the South Pole on the 1912 trip, only to find that a Norwegian party had already beaten him there. He and his four colleagues turned back but all died before they could make it home.

Wright discovered the dead men's journals, photographic negatives and other relics which allowed the tragic adventurers' tale to be told.

He died in 1975 after a distinguished scientific and naval career. After his retirement to Canada, he finally made it to the South Pole in the 1960s, on a flight with the U.S. Navy.

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