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Travel: The last great wilderness

Antarctica is the world’s last great wilderness and of course it should be preserved. But that doesn’t mean we can’t visit it

By Sara Wheeler   March 2011

I once camped on the frozen sea in the lee of Mount Erebus, one of Antarctica’s active volcanoes. I was in the middle of a seven-month journey around the continent, researching a book. The skies were diaphanous, frosting the Transantarctic Mountains with pinks and blues. Lying in my sleeping bag, I heard seals calling to one another under the ice. And then, suddenly, Antarctica shut down. Winds hurtled down from the South Pole, battering the glacier tongues and tossing walls of snow into the air. The storm lasted for two days, the view from the tent a chaotic swirl of…

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