Innocents in the Dry Valleys

An Account of the Victoria University of Wellington Antarctic Expedition, 1958-59

By Bull, Colin

267 pages, 6 x 9, 81 color plates, 4 maps

Format: Paper

Price: $24.95

Published: 2009

In the summer of 1958, physicist Colin Bull, along with a biologist and two undergraduate geology students from Victoria University of Wellington, launched an exploration of the Dry Valleys of Victoria Land, Antarctica, the first of what has become an annual expedition spanning the past fifty years. Bull recounts the story of that first, shoestring expedition, bringing a dry wit, and a clear appreciation of youthful bravado, to accounts of adverse conditions, recurrent dangers, funding snafus, and bureaucratic meddling. This book is a winning account of a landmark expedition, sure to interest scientists and armchair explorers alike.

Dr Colin Bull, geophysicist, glaciologist and cook, was a senior lecturer in physics at Victoria University at the time of this first university Antarctic expedition. He later became Director of the Institute of Polar Studies at The Ohio State University, 1965–69, when he sent the first women scientists to Antarctica. Since retiring as Dean of the College of Math and Physical Sciences he has co-edited a biography of Sir Charles Wright, for whom he named Wright Valley, this first research area, and has written Innocents in the Arctic (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2005), an account of his first polar expedition. Bull Pass is one of four significant features named for the expedition members at the time. Bull Lake, two kilometres broad and fully ten centimetres deep in places, was named for him by his students when he became Dean.