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Roald Amundsen's Expedition to
Transcript of Roald Amundsen's Expedition to
Plan of the Expedition
Amundsen made his plans public on 10 November 1908, at a meeting of the Norwegian Geographical society. He would take his ship around Cape horn to the Pacific. After supplying in San Francisco. The ship would continue northwards, through the Bering Strait to Point Barrow. From here he would set a course directly into the ice to begin a drift that would extend over four or five years.
Brief History of Similar Trips
At first Amundsen wanted to conquest the North Pole by means of an extended drift on and icebound ship. Amundsen began preparing for the trip, but his preparations were disrupted when, in 1909, the rival American explorers Frederick Cook and Robert E. Peary each claimed to have reached the North Pole. Amundsen then changed his plans and began preparing for a conquest of the South Pole. Amundsen’s South Pole expedition was five weeks ahead of a British party led by Robert Falcon Scott who also set out to conquer the South Pole. After Amundsen had conquered the South Pole and returned to his base, he was told that the British party did not survive the expedition.
While Amundsen and his team were traveling, their dogs' paws became frostbitten. On 12 September, the temperatures went down to −56 °C and Amundsen and his team stopped and built igloos for shelter. Amundsen decided to return to Framheim. He would not risk the lives of his men and dogs. On 15 September, in freezing temperatures, several dogs froze to death while others, too weak to continue, were placed upon the sledges. Amundsen, Wisting's, Helmer Hanssen raced away, leaving the rest behind. The three arrived back at Framheim after nine hours, followed by two others who turned two hours later and another shortly after. Johansen and Prestrud were still out on the ice, without food or fuel. Their dogs fell down, and their heels were badly frostbitten. They reached Framheim after midnight, more than seventeen hours after they had turned for home.
The team grew apart because Johansen and Prestrud felt that they had been left for dead and they also lost many of their dogs and some of their equipment.
Roald Amundsen and his 4-man team reached the South Pole, with the help of polar dogs, on 14 December 1911. The expedition, and particularly the dog-sled journey to the Pole, is described as daring and with an exceptionally good logistic planning and execution.
The team members were Helmer Hansen, Sverr Hassel, Oscar Wisting, Olav Bjaaland and of course Roald Amundsen himself.
Roald Amundsen, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting at “Polheim", the tent erected at the South Pole on 16 December 1911.
Roald Amundsen had successfully explored the Antarctic, beating his rival, Robert Falcon Scott to starting a base camp. His rival had failed quickly for he had brought horses, who couldn’t survive the extreme cold, while he had brought huskies who could.
This video is about Roald Amundsen's trip to the south pole, celebrating the 100th anniversary of his trip.
Associated Films/ Literature
Personally, I regard alcohol, used in moderation, as a medicine in the Polar regions. ... It is another matter on sledge journeys: there ... alcohol must be banished ... on account of the weight and space. ... Two men who have fallen out a little in the course of the week are reconciled at once by the scent of rum; the past is forgotten, and they start afresh in friendly co-operation.
— from The South Pole, by Roald Amundsen
... the brilliant aurora australis. ... flush of daylight has moved to the north, ... but it shows nevertheless that we have daylight here at the darkest time of the year, so there is not the absolute darkness that people think.
— from The South Pole, by Roald Amundsen, explaining why the Antarctic winter is not all dark
The holiday humour that ought to have prevailed in the tent that evening — our first on the plateau — did not make its appearance; there was depression and sadness in the air - we had grown so fond of our dogs.
— from The South Pole, by Roald Amundsen upon slaughtering some dogs to feed other dogs and themselves
Adventure is just bad planning - Roald Amundsen
As a boy Amundsen had dreamed of navigating the famous Passage, but when he set sail in 1903 (in a boat he bought himself) his stated main objective was not the completion of the passage but to ascertain if the magnetic north pole had moved since its discovery in 1831.