Mount Erebus in Antarctica is the southernmost historically active volcano on Earth, the second highest volcano in Antarctica (after Mount Sidley), and 6th highest ultra mountain on an island. With a summit elevation of 3,794 metres (12,448 ft), it is located on Ross Island, which is also home to three inactive volcanoes, notably Mount Terror. Mount Erebus is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which includes over 160 active volcanoes.
The volcano has been observed to be continuously active since 1972 and is the site of the Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory run by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
Discovery and naming
Mount Erebus was discovered on January 27, 1841 (and observed to be in eruption) by polar explorer Sir James Clark Ross who named it Mount Erebus after his ships, Erebus and Terror (which were also used by Sir John Franklin on his disastrous Arctic expedition). Erebus was a primordial Greek god of darkness, the son of Chaos.
Mount Erebus was first climbed (to the rim) by members of Sir Ernest Shackleton's party in 1908. Its first known solo ascent and the first winter ascent was accomplished by British mountaineer Roger Mear in March 1985, a member of Robert Swan's "In the Footsteps of Scott" expedition. On January 19–20, 1991, Charles J. Blackmer, an iron-worker for many years at McMurdo Station and the South Pole, accomplished a solo ascent in approximately seventeen hours via snow mobile.