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Terra Nova Expedition (1910–1912)
Transcript of Terra Nova Expedition (1910–1912)
South Pole? It is the southern point where the Earth's axis of rotation interesects its surface. It's located at 90 degrees S, 0 degree and can be found on the content of Antarctica. : a featureless, windswept, icy plateau with an altitude of 9,306 ft. and is 800 miles from open sea. Up until Dec. 1911 it was undiscovered and unknown. Who wanted to find it? Robert Falcon Scott Ronald Amundsen A Norweigan sailor and explorer born July 16, 1872. A British Royal Navy officer and explorer born June 6, 1868. LET THE RACES BEGIN. Robert Scott's Expedition The Goal:
Scott's main object in the preliminary planning of the trip was "to reach the South Pole, and to secure for the British Empire the honour of this achievment". However, there were other motives to gain scientific and geographical data as well. Preparation:
Scott had no idea he was involved in a race. As a result of this he went about chosing his own preferences for the expedition. For example, he reasoned that using horses and sledges in a complex strategy including dogs man power would be sufficient. He knew nothing about horses other than a previous explorer resulted in success by utilizing the animals. Preliminary Events:
The Royal Society and the Royal Geographic Society was formed to plan a prior Antarctic expedition. After the joint-committee was granted funds by the Government, they appointed Scott as the leader of the journey. He replied with the following demands in exchange for his service... I must have complete command of the ship and landing parties. There cannot be two heads.
I must be consulted on all matters affecting the equipment of the landing parties.
The executive officers must not number less than four, exclusive of myself.
I must be consulted in all future appointments, both civilians and others, especially the doctor.
It must be understood that the doctors are first medical men, and secondly members of the scientific staff, not vice versa.
I am ready to insist on these conditions to the point of resignation if, in my opinion, their refusal imperils the success of the undertaking. He wanted to then be funded for a second trip and was compromised by another explorer. Scott took matters into his own hands and started raising money and taking donations. Eventually he made his quota for the trip to the South Pole. Personel:
Sixty-five men were chosen out of 8,000 applicants formed shore and ship's parties for the Terra Nova Expedition. (Terra Nova was the ship's name they sailed from Wales to Cape Crozier Scott then chose four (4) of those men to carry on to the South Pole.
Capt. Oates, P.O. Evans, L.T. Bowers and Dr. Wilson The First Season 1910-11 Sailed Terra Nova from Cardiff, Wales on June 15, 1910. (Scott joined ship later on from South Africa due to expedition business)
Ship stopped in Melbourne, Australia to allow Scott to continue fund-raising. Terra Nova continued to New Zealand.
Scott recieved a telegram from Ronald Amundsen informing him they were in a race to the Pole.
Scott reunited with Terra Nova, which was overloaded with supplies and headed south
Arrived at Cape Ross on January 4, 1911 to set up base camp
Robert Scott's hut on Cape Crozier The Journey South
Scott finally revealed his plans for the march to the South Pole on September 13, 1911. It stated that sixteen (16) men would set out, using motor-sledges, ponies and dogs for to the Beardmore Glacier. At that point, the dogs would return to base, ponies would be shot for food and twelve (12) men would ascend the glacier in three (3) groups using man-hauling. One of these groups would then carry on to the pole and the others sent back as support groups. The final group to journey to the pole would be chosen by Scott during the journey. Implementation
A group of four (4) men departed from Cape Corzier on October 24, 1911 with two motor sledges and a goal to meet the other explorers ahead. Not soon after they left, both sledges failed leaving the men to man-haul 740 lbs. of supplies the remaining 150 miles to their initial destination. The other parties left Corzier on November 1st with the dogs and ponies catching up to them on the 21st. At this stage the dogs were supposed to return but Scott wanted them to procede to make up time.
In early December they reached the Beardmore Glacier and hit a blizzard causing a four (4) day delay. The blizzard weakened the ponies, which were then shot for food. On December 11th two men turned back while the others began the ascent of the Beardmore. Nine (9) days later they reached the beginning of the polar plateau where they set up the Upper Glacier Depot (camp). Soon after that, Scott sent four (4) more men back to base camp, which left eight (8) men to continue south. Scott made his decision on the final expedition team based off calculations of weights and rations to compose a five (5) man party. On January 16, 1912, 15 miles away from their destination, a black flag was spotted. The next day they reached the pole to discovery Ronald Amundsen had arrived there on December 14, 1911.
The party turned homewards the next day after planting their flag. Scott's diary then recording several "excellent marches" and that the physical condition of the team was becoming a concern. On February 7th Scott ordered have a day of geologial investigation and added thirty (30) lbs. of samples to the sledges. Ten (10) days later P.O. Evans, the largest man, died from starvation, scurvy and hypothermia. The weak team members slowly proceeded only to incur poor weather conditions and depletion of supplies. Capt. Oates died by going outside the tent on March 17th with extreme weakness and frost bite. The remaining three, Capt. Scott, Lt. Bowers and Dr. Wilson were trapped in their tent during a blizzard. The three men eventually ran out of fuel and food and died on March 29, 1912. Ronald Amundsen's Expedition The Goal:
To continue exploration in the Arctic by next journeying to the North Pole. At least thats what he told his crew. Amundsen had intentions of being the first man to reach the South Pole instead of the North. Preparation:
After crossing the Northwest Passage, Amundsen made plants to go to the North Pole and explore the North Polar Basin. He had trouble and hesitation raising funds for the departure and upon hearing in 1909 that the pole was already discovered he decided to route to Antarctica. However, he hid these plans until after the first month of this ship in order to avoid unnecessary press leaks and to lower public expectations. He also had a hard time funding the expeditition and ended up mortgaging his own house for it.
Amundsen put a considerable amount of thought into how his team and him would transport to the pole and with what equipment and supplies. He chose to use sledge dogs that are durable as a pack of animals and can be fed to other dogs as well as humans if killed. The team's ski boots were designed by Amundsen himself after two years of testing. He aquired the strongest tents at the time that had a built in floor and only a single pole. He also rationed the teammates food and supplies before departure. Personel:
Amundsen chose three (3) naval liutenants for his expedition officers, Thorvald Nilsen, Hjalmar Fredrik Gjertsen and Kristian Presutrud Gjertsen. He also chose Olav Bjaaland who was a skilled carpenter, champion skier, and ski-maker. He took a total of four (4) other ment including himself on the journey to the pole. Amundsen handpicked his team before beginning the trip and alerted each memeber. The First Season 1910-11
Amundsen's ship Fram departed from Norway in August of 1910 and sailed to Madeira in the Atlantic. Ship was anchored in the Bay of Whales
Shortly after his departure he alerted Scott of his journey. THE RACE WAS ON.
Six (6) teams of dogs were used to move supplies to the site where they would build the main hut
Amundsen strategically planned out the depot-laying journeys across the Barrier in preparation
Eighteen (18) dogs would pull three (3) sledges
The first team of men left on September 8, 1911, but had to abandon due to extreme temperatures.
Amundsen's base camp The Journey South On October 19, 1911 a second attempt with a team composed of Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, Oscar Wisting, and Amundsen himself. The took four (4) sledges and fifty-two (52) dogs. On November 17th they reached the edge of the Barrier and faced the Transantarctic Mountains. Amundsen did not follow prerecorded routes throught his area and instead made his own path, which turned out a success. As of November 21st the team had travelled seventeen (17) miles and climbed 5,000 feet.
Amundsen prepared for the final stage of the journey after doubling the feet they had climbed. Seven (7) dogs had died and eighteen (18) would go further while the others were killed for food. After loading up three sledges for the next march lasting up to two (2) months, bad weather fell upon them, which delayed their departure until November 25th. They traveled over a icry surfaces broken by frequent crevasses that slowed their progress significantly. On December 12th they experienced a black object that appeared on the horizon but it proved to be dog droppings magnified by mirage. Two (2) days later Amundsen travelled in front of the sledges and around 3 p.m. the team reached the South Pole vicinity. The team set up camp for the next three (3) days and perfected the positioning of the flag.
On December 18, 1911 Amundsen and his team began their journey back to base camp. Determined to return to civilization before Scott to gain the press attention. However, in order to preserve the strength of the dogs and men he limited their daily distances traveled. On January 4, 1912 the team reached the camp where they had killed the dogs before their last stretch to the pole. They then descended the Barrier precariously in order to avoid the crevasses. On January 7th the team reached their first depot (camp) on the Barrier and Amundsen increased their pace. The men adopted a routine of travelling up to fifteen (15) nautical miles, stopping for six (6) hours then resuming the journey. They covered about thirty (30) miles a day and on January 25th they reached their base camp. Eleven (11) out of the fifty two (52) dogs survived pulling two (2) sledges. The journey totaled ninety nine (99) days, which was ten (10) fewer than scheduled and covered about 1,860 nautical miles. :FAILURE : SUCCESS What Happened? Robert Scott: Untested transportation technology in motor sledges was a huge risk
Ponies are unsuitable for arctic weather
Failed to integrate the transportation approaches planned
Orderd dog teams back to base camp, which was his only advantage left
Wrong team members were taking care of ponies
Chose his team members late and miscalculated resources by adding a fifth (5th) person
Being beaten to the destination demoralized the team for the journey back
Wasted team members strength by having then man-hauling the sledges
Had multiple project objectives (first to the pole and scientific expedition), which added additional weight to sledges for scientific equipment.
Did not follow his initial plan and refused to amend schedule to compensate for Amundsen's threat to beat him there
Ignored suggestions from team members to kill ponies earlier for food. Poor Project Managment Great Project Managment Ronald Amundsen: Thoroughly planned expedition
Avoided press leaks to lower public expectations by not disclosing plan
Took used proven and tested methods of transportation and refined them
Calculated risks to set up base camp on ice through his past experience, which reduced the overall journey time.
Anticipated alternatives throughout the trip and utilized them
Hand picked team members to form well balanced set of individuals with certain skils needed
Had previous experience to rely on to carry out the journey
Managed all critical paths of the project and tested them before implementing
Informed men of plan before departure/implementation
Rationed supplies and food to last entire journey Amundsen took a more efficient route to the pole that had a shorter distance as well as less traveling through elevated glaciers. As a result, his entire team made it back alive and before schedule. Conclusion After comparing and contrasting both Rober Scott's and Ronald Amundsen's expedition it is clear that Amundsen was a better leader. Overall, he exibited better project managment skill over Scott. He used risk analysis, preventive as well as predictive managment, great communication, and exceptional leadership skills. He showed true dedication to the objectives behind the journey unlike Scott who had a hard time deciding to focus on the journey or the scientific data collected. Rober Scott took far too many risks with undeveloped transportation methods and planning skills. As a result of his ignorance, the lives of his team members as well as his own were sacrificed. Ronald Amundsen was viewed as a somewhat hero after this event and his tactics behind this journey were used as references to future expeditions. Thank You.
November 30, 2011
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“Terra Nova Expedition.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation, 11 Nov. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_Nova_Expedition>.