Replica of Hillarys Antarctic tractor

Posted: Dec 14, 2009 05:39 pm EST

A replica of one of the Ferguson TEA tractors which transported Edmund Hillary and his team on their journey to the South Pole in 1958 has been unveiled at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre at Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand reported the Otago Daily Times.

Biggest hurdle

A vintage car restorer, John Callesen, undertook the tractor construction reported the news source.

Mr Callesen compared hundreds of photographs of the three tractors that went on the Antarctic expedition to ensure accuracy. The biggest hurdle he said was distinguishing between the alterations made to the tractors before and after their trip to the South Pole.

"The tractors stayed at the South Pole for several years afterwards and were further modified, which made producing an exact visible replica tricky

Ordinary farm tractors

According to InfoNews New Zealand, Denis Callesen, General Manager of Tourism for Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Village Ltd said, Seeing the primitive equipment [Hillary] and his various expedition parties used gives people a sense of the triumphs, tribulations and magnitude of what they achieved.

Imagine battling Antarcticas extreme cold and crevasses on ordinary farm tractors without the technology or equipment we have today - its a truly amazing feat.

The New Zealand team of the Commonwealth Trans Antarctic Expedition (TAE) was in the Antarctic from 1956 to 1958. They left for the South Pole from Scott Base on 14 October 1957 and arrived at the Pole on 4 January 1958.

#Polar #Science

The Ferguson at rest at the Pole. Image courtesy of Geoffrey Lee Martin (click to enlarge)
The telegram sent by Edmund Hillary following his arrival at the South Pole. Our Fergusons performed magnificently...and made our trip to the Pole possible. Image courtesy of (click to enlarge)
Tractor route map. Image courtesy of (click to enlarge)

Visit our new website