Almost 100 years ago, on Dec. 14, 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was the first to reach the South Pole. Now, in the centennial year of Antarctic exploration, Carleton College has published a new edition of “Cold: The Record of an Antarctic Sledge Journey.” Originally published in 1931 and written by Carleton’s fourth president, Laurence McKinley Gould, “Cold” is the riveting, first-hand account of Gould’s extraordinary experience serving as chief scientist and Second-in-Command in the infamous Admiral Richard E. Byrd Antarctic Expedition from 1928-30.
Gould’s account of the grueling five-person, fifteen hundred-mile dog-sled journey through Antarctica during this era of heroic exploration remains a classic piece of polar literature. Out-of-print for years, the new edition of “Cold” is a tremendous adventure story full of scientific milestones, including its account of the first ever airplane flight over the South Pole, as well as the first geographical and glaciological survey of the area (which Gould called “a veritable paradise for a geologist.”). The re-issue also includes Gould’s 1984 epilogue, focused on climate change and stressing the importance of Antarctica in sustaining a healthy planet.
“More than 80 years ago, Larry Gould went to Antarctica as second in command on Richard E. Byrd’s first expedition to that frozen, beautiful, mysterious and dangerous continent. Antarctic exploration has changed significantly since this time, yet Gould’s story continues to fascinate. His frank, and often poetic, account of the sledge journey details life on the trail, including such things as the men and their relationship to the dogs, the joy in geological discoveries, and of course, the cold…the brutal, biting, undeniable cold,” writes Laura J. Kissel of the Byrd Polar Research Center Archival Program at The Ohio State University. “’Cold’ remains an important account of life as an expedition member on what would be one of the most important expeditions in Antarctic exploration history.”
Gould came to Carleton College in 1932, serving as a professor of geology and chairman of the geology department. A popular professor, Gould was named president of the College in 1945 and held that position until 1962. He retired to Tucson, Arizona, in 1963, later teaching glaciology at the University of Arizona. Gould also served as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The recipient of 26 honorary degrees, Carleton College renamed its library the Laurence McKinley Gould Library in his honor in 1995. The R/V Laurence M. Gould, a research ship built in 1997 for the National Science Foundation and designed for year-round polar operations, is also named in his honor.
The new edition “Cold: The Record of an Antarctic Sledge Journey,” available for the first time in paperback, features over fifty historic images scanned from the 1931 edition of “Cold,” along with materials from the National Archives. Published exclusively by Carleton College, copies of “Cold” are $16.95 (plus sales tax) and can be ordered at the Carleton College Bookstore or online at www.carletonbookstore.org.
The Carleton College Bookstore is located in the Sayles Hill Campus Center, along College Street on the Carleton campus in Northfield, Minn. For more information, call (507) 222-4153.