Woman walking in grandfather's steps

More than 100 years after her grandfather last stepped foot in Antarctica, Susanna Ferrar is back to pay tribute.

Hartley Ferrar, who later settled in Christchurch, was a young geologist on Captain Robert Scott's 1901-04 Discovery expedition.

Susanna Ferrar, who last week arrived in Antarctica with Canterbury University's postgraduate certificate of Antarctic studies, said she hoped getting to Antarctica would give her closure.

"My grandfather died 20 years before I was born and I never knew much about him, so it is like there is a corner of my mind in the past," she said.

Antarctica's Ferrar Glacier was named after her grandfather, who was the first person to discover fossils on the continent.

Ferrar sees his presence every time she looks out over the frozen landscape.

"I just imagine him at 22 being the first person to walk on a lot of these places. I look across that expanse and just think, he just charged out there with his sledge and hauled it over there."

Ferrar, a violinist, was born in Christchurch but moved to Britain as a child.

She had wanted to travel to Antarctica for a long time and had spent most of her days off in the past two years at the Scott Polar Institute in Cambridge reading diaries of her grandfather's expedition.

"I grew up with those stories and for years I have been trying to get here."

Her favourite tale from her grandfather's travels was of when he jumped off the ship onto an ice flow with three others. "They had to put down a boat and rescue them."

Hartley Ferrar emigrated to New Zealand after his Antarctic adventure.

He served in World War I with the 1st (Canterbury) Regiment and afterwards continued geological work in the North and South Islands.

Mt Ferrar in Canterbury's Cloudy Peak range was named in his honour. He died in 1932.

The Press