Earlier this summer I read Sara Wheeler's Terra Incognita - an account of a several-month-long Antarctic writer-in-residency in more recent times. Two things, for me, came out of that. First, the sheer size (bigger than Europe), harshness (coldest, windiest, driest place on the planet) and nothingness of the place. The edges are vaguely interesting and there's the Trans Antarctic mountain range and the Pole itself has a certain resonance (and a research settlement), but the rest is a lot of nothing. Or as an OS mapper said: "Look at that. Nothing between us and the Pole except 1,250 miles of nothing. So much to map, so little time". The other thing that struck was the overriding (95%) maleness of its few thousand temporary inhabitants, mostly bearded geeky scientists, which made for a rather rough ride for Wheeler.
She's written a good book on the Arctic too - The Magnetic North - but that's another story.