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  • Amundsen's tent | South Pole 1911-2011
    extra tent Amundsen left behind is believed to be at about 15 18 metres depth No more snow than that has accumulated in these 100 years This is a polar desert If you want to search for the tent you can t simply start digging at exactly 90 degrees south The navigation instruments used in Amundsen s day were sextant chronometer compass and surveyor s wheel A Norwegian professor later calculated that Amundsen s navigation had a precision of three kilometres So if you intend to dig randomly within a radius of three kilometres you may be obliged to shovel several hundred million cubic metres of snow to locate the tent Some help may be available however The tent still contains the box that held the letter with the famous words from Amundsen to Scott Dear Captain Scott As you probably are the first to reach this area after us I will ask you to kindly forward this letter to King Haakon VII If you can use any of the articles left in the tent please do not hesitate to do so With kind regards and a wish for your safe return Yours truly Roald Amundsen This box might give a reflection if you search with radar But the next obstacle is that when the American Amundsen Scott base was being constructed in 1957 much of the equipment was airlifted in and dropped Many of the items that were dropped were never found by the ground crew In other words the area is full of objects that might reflect radar waves Talk about looking for a needle in a haystack In 2005 the nations that are party to the Antarctic Treaty decided to protect Amundsen s tent The 100 year jubilee was approaching and plans were being made to excavate

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-12-09-amundsens-tent.html (2014-09-28)
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  • The fiver | South Pole 1911-2011
    others have been lightened Amundsen on this day 100 years ago Read more An overjoyed finder Photo Norwegian Polar Institute For those who have not been following us every step of the way we recapitulate briefly the story of the UB fiver United Bakeries has been an important provider of a lunch bars incredibly delicious and we still haven t tired of them and b vacuum packed breakfast muesli The food was delivered with the following extra message One of the breakfast packages contains a five crown coin The finder wins a trip to Paris with his entire family In the beginning we almost fought to be responsible for breakfast rather than dinner As time went by and rumours about a possible bluff began to circulate at around 85 degrees the enthusiasm for being on breakfast duty gradually cooled But it turned out to be true This morning a fiver fell into the breakfast bowl of guess who Vegard Ulvang In other news we are now at approximately the highest point on our entire journey our GPS shows 3159 metres altitude Position S 88 02 892 E 178 46 259 Temperature 27 C morning 26 C evening Wind 4 6

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-12-08-the-fiver.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Titan Dome | South Pole 1911-2011
    during the night What little remained came from NE Amundsen on this day 100 years ago Read more Full speed ahead for the Titan Dome Photo Norwegian Polar Institute The Titan Dome is our last bugbear We have had a few First we worried about the crevassed area on the Ross Ice Shelf If only we could put it far behind us Then it was the steep slopes and crevasses of the Axel Heiberg Glacier If only we could put them far behind us Then it was the extreme altitude of the plateau If only we could become acclimatised to it And finally it is the Titan Dome the highest elevation along our route We have Cecilie Skog s horror stories in fresh memory hurricane force winds temperatures of 40 below snow surface so hard the snow pegs were useless Headwinds all the way was her encouraging observation Now we are there in the worst slopes up towards the Dome But today we have had tailwinds for the very first time and set off with a feeling that the Dome may end up being the most pleasant experience of our entire journey It was a bit of a fracas to be sure The wind blew hard the sun disappeared in a total white out visibility was down to 30 metres It would have been indefensible to have more than one person sailing at any time But here s how we solved it our top notch ski sailor Jølle towed the entire expedition four sleds and three people At speeds of up to 30 km h the entire team flew through the mists only touching the surface now and then This was Jølle s day no doubt about it Even better conditions have been forecast for tomorrow In that case we

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-12-07-the-titan-dome.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Contact | South Pole 1911-2011
    and a storage space for equipment Framheim at the Bay of Whales Antarctica 1911 Photo Unknown Owner Norwegian National Library bldsa NPRA1101 We feel rather isolated here in our four man existence True enough we are in contact with the outside world but every kilobyte we download via our Iridium link up takes time and there are limits to the amount of information that can reach us We hear they have had extremely mild weather back home It certainly hasn t been like that here It goes without saying that the five men who crossed this plateau 100 years ago lived in a wholly different world They had sent their last letters with Fram and couldn t expect responses until the ship returned in the new year of 1912 And polar history abounds with tales of men who were parted from their loved ones for long periods Helmer Hanssen writes In mid March I disembarked in Tromsø to be at home for 14 days At home a new little son had arrived I had to say farewell to the boy and my wife and head off on a journey that was expected to last two or three years but ended up lasting nearly four years Perhaps it isn t so strange that a radio reporter had trouble keeping the doubt out of his voice when he learned that Oscar Wisting has signed a contract for a seven year expedition under Amundsen He asked But what did your wife say But back to the six year old s question we are doing our utmost to make it in time for the South Pole Jubilee celebration 14 December and to be on the Christmas flight home The past few days have been taxing and if the unfavourable weather continues our Christmas prospects

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-12-06-contact.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Charmer segment | South Pole 1911-2011
    and I who otherwise would take turns in going ahead cannot do so in this kind of weather since we would simply come a cropper on the sastrugi Amundsen on this day 100 years ago Read more Packing up the tent Photo Norwegian Polar Institute Amundsen had some tough times on the plateau First he was weatherbound at the Butcher then he got himself entangled in a horrific network of crevasses east of where we are now But a few days ago he left the Devil s Glacier behind at last He wrote we were all rejuvenated both men and dogs and moved swiftly south We hope the name of this map sheet will in time fulfil its promise But before we see any charm we must probably get past the highest elevation along our route Titan Dome which has a tattered reputation where weather is concerned The last 200 kilometres in towards the South Pole lie over an area where the weather is fairly reliable little wind lots of sun good skiing conditions We are looking forward to that Position S 86 57 688 E 178 49 376 Temperaturw 29 C Wind 10 12 m s from the southeast

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-12-05-charmer-segment.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Contrasts | South Pole 1911-2011
    Photo Norwegian Polar Institute Let s take today as an example After our morning breakfast bar still no fiver we had intended to start skiing But the team that staggered out of the tents this morning was one of the sorriest sights ever seen in these parts Jan Gunnar was nearly annihilated by migraine Vegard tumbled out of the 4 man tent only half conscious leaving his tent mate Harald Dag prostrate inside struggling not to vomit Reason low oxygen levels in the tent Stein was feeling the effects of altitude sickness When this sorry bunch despite everything eventually got moving the speed was about 2 km h At best we could hope to reach the South Pole in time for Amundsen s 150 year anniversary But what happened next The wind began to blow at the right speed from the right angle Up went our sails We rigged up two little convoys each consisting of one accomplished ski sailor two sleds and one man with the skills needed for being towed And when the day was over the morning s miserable group had done a full 58 kilometres A new record Position S 86 47 710 E 179 23

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-12-04-contrasts.html (2014-09-28)
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  • The Pole of Inaccessibility | South Pole 1911-2011
    noses from morning till night and protects against sun and cold We are heading for the South Pole a place many others will also visit But another and perhaps even more exotic pole for those in search of adventure is the Pole of Inaccessibility When the Americans built the Amundsen Scott Station at the geographical South Pole in November 1956 they had occupied the most prominent place in Antarctica The Soviet Union responded by building a station at the Pole of Inaccessibility in December 1958 This place is as far from the ocean as it is possible to get and can therefore be viewed as the most inaccessible place in Antarctica The two superpowers had shown off their muscles by establishing themselves each at their separate poles First the Russians flew reconnaissance missions on an IL 12 during the third Soviet Antarctic Expedition in December 1957 as a part of the International Geophysical Year The same month they mounted an expedition from the coastal station Mirny The expedition consisted of ten tractors and 32 men a formidable convoy in other words But they didn t make it to the Pole of Inaccessibility that year A small party of four were left behind to spend the winter at the stopping point undoubtedly a spartan overwintering unplanned as it was Lenin in 2008 Photo Stein Tronstad Norwegian Polar Institute Then 14 December 1958 a team of 17 men finally reached the Pole of Inaccessibility after a 2100 kilometre traverse that had set out from Mirny as early as in September Naturally the arrival at their goal was celebrated among other things the Soviet flag was raised A more original form of celebration was that these tough and hardy men also shot off fireworks Two weeks later the expedition turned homeward after having

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-12-03-the-pole-of-inaccessibility.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Sun on the tent | South Pole 1911-2011
    to our belief that the weather gods can help us on our way to the pole This image shows today s attempt Photo Norwegian Polar Institute It has been quite cold today we must admit It started so well We rigged our sails and thought we would get some significant and much desired help but once again the wind was from almost due south and blew us off course It is not without reason that most ski sailors and kiters in Antarctica start at the pole and go to the coast It has occurred to us that it isn t such a bad idea it puts the wind at your back and the sun in your face But enough said about that We are skiing towards the South Pole That s the way it s supposed to be One skis to the South Pole not from it After we d stashed away our sails the wind picked up and veered to an even more northerly direction But that isn t what this text was supposed to be about Quite the opposite Today s blog was supposed to be about how delightful it is to see sunlight dancing on our tent and heating our home The sun makes it livable inside even if only a couple thin sheets of nylon cloth separate us from another world It allows us to stretch out and enjoy life All the chills of the day are forgotten We linger over our evening coffee and turn on the computer to download today s mail Has meteorologist Marc at Union Glacier forecast good sailing winds for the pole and continued sunshine on the tents Position S 86 05 445 W 174 40 192 Temperature 25 C Wind 6 10 m s from the southeast Elevation 2800 metres

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-12-02-sun-on-the-tent.html (2014-09-28)
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