Otherworldly Antarctica: Ice, Rock, and Wind at the Polar Extreme (Hardcover)

Otherworldly Antarctica: Ice, Rock, and Wind at the Polar Extreme By Edmund Stump Cover Image

Otherworldly Antarctica: Ice, Rock, and Wind at the Polar Extreme (Hardcover)


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With stunning original photographs, an Antarctic scientist and explorer takes us to one of the most sublime, remote, and pristine regions on the planet.
The interior of Antarctica is an utterly pristine wilderness, a desolate landscape of ice, wind, and rock; a landscape so unfamiliar as to seem of another world. This place has been known to only a handful of early explorers and the few scientists fortunate enough to have worked there. Edmund Stump is one of the lucky few. Having climbed, photographed, and studied more of the continent-spanning Transantarctic Mountains than any other person on Earth, this geologist, writer, and photographer is uniquely suited to share these alien sights.

With stories of Stump’s forty years of journeys and science, Otherworldly Antarctica contains 130 original color photographs, complemented by watercolors and sketches by artist Marlene Hill Donnelly. Over three chapters—on the ice, the rock, and the wind—we meet snowy paths first followed during Antarctica’s Heroic Age, climb the central spire of the Organ Pipe Peaks, peer into the crater of the volcanic Mount Erebus, and traverse Liv Glacier on snowmobile, while avoiding fatal falls into the blue interiors of hidden crevasses. Along the way, we see the beauty of granite, marble, and ice-cored moraines, meltwater ponds, lenticular clouds, icebergs, and glaciers. Many of Stump’s breathtaking images are aerial shots taken from the planes and helicopters that brought him to the interior. More were shot from vantages gained by climbing the mountains he studied. Some were taken from the summits of peaks. Many are of places no one had set foot before—or has since. All seem both permanent and precarious, connecting this otherworld to our fragile own.
Edmund Stump is a retired professor of exploration at Arizona State University where he taught geology for thirty-seven years. In a research career funded by the National Science Foundation spanning forty years and thirteen Antarctic field seasons, he studied and sampled rocks throughout the 1,500-mile length of the Transantarctic Mountains and collected samples from the Vinson Massif, the highest summit in Antarctica. He is the author of The Roof at the Bottom of the World: Discovering the Transantarctic Mountains.
Product Details ISBN: 9780226829906
ISBN-10: 0226829901
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: April 29th, 2024
Pages: 168
Language: English
“Explorer and geologist Stump went on his first research mission to Antarctica in 1970 and returned many times over the following decades. The new book Otherworldly Antarctica offers a selection of the photographs he took on these trips, capturing the ‘innumerable forms’ that ice can take. Icebergs that could have been carved by the sculptor Henry Moore glide through still waters; a meltwater pond refreezes, releasing a shimmer of dissolved gases; a crevasse seems to include every shade of blue. . . . Now in his seventies, he writes that if he ‘had one hour more to savor Antarctica,’ he’d be standing in a field of wind-carved snow ‘as far as the eye could see.’”
— Peter Saenger

"In captivating words, photographs, and illustrations, geologist Stump’s book Otherworldly Antarctica covers the 'stark and utterly pristine' continent where winter never leaves. . . . Stump is meditative, even spiritual, in his descriptions of his favorite place. . . . His memorable photographs of crevasses contain stunning hues from the palest powder blue to midnight black; icebergs and glacier tongues form exquisite sculptures as they blend into the sea. And there’s a thrilling peek along the rim of Mt. Erebus, the world’s southernmost active volcano. . . . Otherworldly Antarctica is a fascinating armchair travel book, approaching the remotest place on Earth with a knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and artistic guide. It will be a standout in collections about polar exploration or landscape photography."
— Foreword Reviews (starred review)

"Because I can't resist a book on Antarctica, here is an illustrated account of the author's forty years living and working in this pristine and forbidding landscape, with photographs and complementary sketches and paintings. Stump is a geologist, with more experience of the Transantarctic Mountains than anyone else on Earth."
— The Bookseller

“An exquisite photographic and personal journey into the natural wonders of Antarctica’s interior. Stump is a consummate scientist and explorer, and this book is his love letter to the extraordinary continent to which he has devoted his career. Do not miss this opportunity to join him on the expedition.”
— Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Guinness World Records’ Greatest Living Explorer and author of "Climb Your Mountain" and "Shackleton"

Otherworldly Antarctica is a mesmerizing snapshot of the isolated and extreme world of the seventh continent told through stunning imagery and firsthand insight.”
— Sian Proctor, geoscientist, artist, and astronaut, mission pilot for SpaceX Inspiration4 and author of "Space2inspire: The Art of Inspiration"

“Much has been written about Antarctica, and beautiful images of the icebound continent abound, but no book that I know of has so powerfully evoked the mystique and mystery of this, the last truly wild terrestrial frontier on the planet. Otherworldly Antarctica is a triumph.”
— Wade Davis, former Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and author of "Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest"

“Like the work of Leonardo da Vinci, this book is both art and science, inspiration and education. Primarily a scientist, but no less an artist, Stump has captured the awe and alien majesty of the most remote mountain range on Earth. His photos have inspired and profoundly altered the course of my life.”
— Leo Houlding, mountaineer, adventurer, and author of "Closer to the Edge: Climbing to the Ends of the Earth"

Otherworldly Antarctica is a reflective journey through a life’s work of exploring and photographing a world beyond imagination. Both poetic and spiritual, Stump shares his Antarctic experiences through the eye of his camera. I could feel the cold and desolation emanating from the pages. A true Antarctic explorer and an expert photographer, Stump is the real deal.”
— Bruce Luyendyk, geologist and author of "Mighty Bad Land: A Perilous Expedition to Antarctica Reveals Clues to an Eighth Continent"

“When viewed through the prism of human experience, Antarctica seems a timeless place. Stump shows us, from an earth sciences perspective, how fluid and changing the continent is. A very unforgiving environment, yet in the face of climate change, a delicate one. Built on visual excellence, expertise, and passion, Otherworldly Antarctica is a fascinating book that will deepen your appreciation of the continent’s ice, rock, and wind, and the people who have studied its ranges.”
— Conrad Anker, mountaineer, activist, and coauthor of "The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mount Everest"

“In a world on fire, the frozen beauty of Stump’s photography is an inspiration as well as a comfort.”
— Russ Feingold, former US Senator