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Vibha Vasanth at May 08, 2023 06:03 PM



carry them through the midwinter darkness in a region
where food is supposed to be abundant. Under such con-
ditions I do not remember that we have ever weighed the
danger of the journey. As stated elsewhere, I suppose
that any one of our experienced ice travelers (such as
Storker Storkerson, George Wilkins, Ole Andreasen,
Aarnout Castel, or Karsten Andersen) would say, after
years of experience in crossing thousands of miles of such
ice as lies in January between Wrangel Island and
Siberia, that the danger of this hundred-mile sledging is
about the equivalent of a hundred-mile airplane flight
across a mountain range—much greater danger than that
of railway travel, but nothing to keep you if you want
to go. So, had I been there, I might have voted for the
sledge journey to Siberia.

That the chief motive for leaving Wrangel was either
a feeling that their work on the island was so far done
that they might as well return to civilization, or else a
desire to get in touch with us if we were outfitting a new
arctic expedition, is to be inferred from the frequent off-
hand references to a journey “to Nome, via Siberia.” In
addition to the diary entries quoted elsewhere, we have
one of these in Knight’s description of the symptoms of
his illness, which he left as a separate manuscript. The
full reference with its context is: “On ,
Crawford and I started for Nome, via Siberia, and, ex-
cepting the pains in my legs, especially at night, I seemed
to be all right.”

That most of the men left Wrangel with the expecta-
tion to continue arctic work either there or elsewhere we
know from several sources. Ada Blackjack tells us that
she understood Crawford, Galle and Maurer would all
come back from Nome with the ship they expected in