Polar Exploration in the United Kingdom

Check out their portraits from Vanity Fair from the early 1900s! 

Why does the community have this tradition?:

Antarctica was largely unexplored in the early 1900s. The United Kingdom sponsored a number of high-profile expeditions to Antarctica during this time in order to better understand and map the geography of this mysterious continent. Antarctica has a harsh, unforgiving climate, and many early polar explorers never came back from these journeys. Even today, explorers and scientists who travel to Antarctica must thoroughly prepare and pack in order to survive in the extreme Antarctic climate. A full 100 years after Sir Ernest Shackleton's final expedition, explorers are still discovering new information about the ice-covered continent at the bottom of the world.

The first U.K.-sponsored expeditions to Antarctica during the Heroic Age of Exploration also had a second purpose: competition! Other nations, especially Norway, were attempting to reach the geographic South Pole around the same time, and British explorers wanted to get there first as a matter of national pride. Ultimately, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first person to reach the South Pole in 1911, arriving just 33 days before Captain Robert Falcon Scott!

Is this tradition connected to its environment? How?:

Polar exploration is still celebrated throughout England, and English universities and scholars are leading the way in studying Antarctic geography. The University of Cambridge has its own sub-department for polar exploration, called the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI). I was able to visit SPRI alongside Endurance22 Expedition Leader, John Shears and Director of Exploration, Mensun Bound.