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  • Mount Betty | South Pole 1911-2011
    sponsors friends and colleagues were among the many individuals whose names would be made immortal here in Antarctica On his way home on 6 January 1912 Amundsen raised a cairn on Mount Betty and placed a can of paraffin and two boxes of matches inside it Maybe these things will be of use at some time And most important of all he left a narrative about his expedition That was typical of polar communication back then If the travellers perished on their way to Framheim search parties would have clues something to go on Amundsen s men also gathered samples of as many different rocks as they could find here on Mount Betty The letter in the cairn was found by Gould during Byrd s aerial expedition in 1928 and it is now in an American archive we didn t bring any reference books so we must add the caveat that we may not have our facts perfectly straight But the sealed paraffin can is still in the cairn It is she only known keepsake of Amundsen that remains in all of Antarctica The only one that was placed on solid ground On 18 November 1911 everything was in readiness for the ascent to the South Polar Plateau They changed their underwear hung them up and assumed that their dirty garments would be thoroughly aired by the time they returned They packed provisions for five men for sixty days They believed they had enough dog food for the ascent After the climb most of their four legged comrades would pay with their lives Amundsen and his men pulled on their clothing of reindeer skin Their gaze was fixed on the inland plateau We have a fantastic campsite right beside Mount Betty The weather is fantastic We look at the mountains

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-11-23-mount-betty.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Halfway | South Pole 1911-2011
    loom ever closer Photo Norwegian Polar Institute We are quite satisfied to be starting the second stage Many wonder if we will reach our destination by 14 December We wonder too We have now reached the halfway mark We have been skiing for 22 days And there are 22 days left to 14 December What more can we say We have travelled as quickly as we were able and haven t taken a single day s rest so far The big question is if we will be able to continue in the same way through the second half Our constantly improving stamina and lightening loads suggest it may be possible The 3000 metre ascent up the Axel Heiberg glacier where masses of new snow have fallen in the past few days suggest it may prove difficult The thin air at 3000 metres altitude is likely to slow us down Believing in another 655 km without a rest day requires an optimist Position S 84 55 262 W 162 50 992 Temperature 6 C Wind 6 m s from the southeast Distance traversed 33 km Distance behind Amundsen 133 km Total distance traversed 672 km Distance remaining to the South Pole

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-11-22-halfway.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Choose to fight! | South Pole 1911-2011
    would permit sailing The veteran ski sailors Vegard and Harald Dag would tow Stein and Jan Gunnar We had violent gusts of wind during the night Quite calm until the small hours Gale from ESE true until midday with thick drift Amundsen on this day 100 years ago Read more Stein and Jan Gunnar enjoying their lunch break Photo Norwegian Polar Institute Poof Suddenly the wind filled Vegard s spinnaker He flew skywards like a human cannonball until his anchor two sleds and one Winther jerked him back to earth as quickly as he had left it Skis lines and goggles had a somewhat different distribution than before the detonation The wind is too strong yelled Vegard through the gusts We ll have to use the small sails Shortly after Ulvang Winther and two sleds disappeared in the wake of a flapping sheet of nylon So we packed up and we all continued onward on skis like an ordinary expedition to the South Pole But Runa and Nora should know that their father has obeyed the injunction they put on his bowl Position S 84 37 443 W 163 03 982 Temperature 7 C Wind 8 12 m s from

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-11-21-choose-to-fight.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Only for hard-core enthusiasts | South Pole 1911-2011
    at 10 000 ft altitude Amundsen on this day 100 years ago Read more Against the wind Photo Norwegian Polar Institute Discipline routines stamina and a dash of stubbornness are required to keep us moving through this icy desolation At 6 a m a Type A person tumbles out to the tent s vestibule and fires up the Primus stove Two hours later we set off Twelve hours later the Type B person cooks dinner burrows feet first into his sleeping bag and turns off the light shortly after 10 p m The wind picked up as the day passed Not only that visibility decreased to zero At times it was like skiing in a bag of cotton wool The wind tears at body and sled and the going gets tough and tougher How did we manage to ski 32 km despite all that The answer is simple and reveals a dubious bit of logic Vegard s headwind compensation We allowed ourselves 5 10 minutes extra for each hour long skiing stint because the conditions were so challenging As simple as that And we keep on keeping on Position S 84 27 100 W 163 14 734 Temperature 6 C

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-11-20-if-you-really-want-to-know.html (2014-09-28)
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  • What an adventure! | South Pole 1911-2011
    glacier There were many crevasses and chasms but we found good bridges everywhere Amundsen on this day 100 years ago Read more The Transantarctic Mountain Range is slowly rising like a film set in front of us forming a grand panorama Photo Norwegian Polar Institute It s only a few days since we saw the first subtle hints of land Now the Transantarctic Mountain Range covers most of the horizon in the south Like a film set they loom up slowly in front of us becoming a spectacular panorama The world s widest widescreen The only thing missing is the soundtrack We have no difficulty imagining how exciting this must have been for the first person who came here From where we now stand the mountain range looks like an impenetrable barrier blocking the way to the South Pole Amundsen had no way of knowing if it was possible to find a path forward We don t have that uncertainty to deal with As the day progressed the wind fell to dead calm the snow glittered and the temperature was actually pleasant Today we skied 36 km Position S 84 10 255 W 163 35 243 Temperature 16 C Wind

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-11-19-what-an-adventure.html (2014-09-28)
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  • There was a lot more going on in 1911 | South Pole 1911-2011
    perfect then either Harnessing the wind took all our strength and our leg muscles were stiff with the effort But it offered a bit of variety Raise your kite Concentrate on getting it to fly properly Read the wind read the terrain Fall down and get back up again A bit of action But today we re back to pulling our sleds infinitely more monotonous work Isolated in our hoods like horses in blinkers we are alone with our own thoughts an hour at a time We drive ourselves hard when we are on the move One hour of pulling not a minute less Discipline befitting Olympic athletes And then a juice break In principle breaks last ten minutes but this time limit isn t as strictly kept Then we raise the hoods again put on our snow goggles and count down the minutes until the lead man starts to check the time again And eventually lets us know that another hour has passed It gets monotonous we must admit but it does make the kilometres add up Eight sessions per day Amundsen s expedition included so many more elements They drove a few hours in the morning and covered 37 kilometres Then the dogs had to rest but the day s driving was already behind them We don t mean to insinuate that it was easy to get to the South Pole in 1911 But they did lots of different things along the way Built cairns organised depots checked their position fed the dogs Slaughtered the dogs too for that matter And they didn t ski pulling heavy sleds behind them Amundsen even complained on reaching the end of the Ross Ice Shelf We were quite unaccustomed to skiing even though we had just put 620 km behind us

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-11-18-there-was-a-lot-more-going-on-in-1911.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Sailing towards land! | South Pole 1911-2011
    ¼E The dogs have done work today that has surpassed my greatest expectations Amundsen on this day 100 years ago Read more Full speed towards land Photo Norwegian Polar Institute When it became known that Amundsen had taken up the race to the South Pole many believed he would cut across the Ross Ice Shelf below South Victoria Land and ascend to the plateau by way of the Beardmore Glacier taking the route Shackleton had discovered in 1908 9 But Amundsen insisted that this had never been his plan Scott had declared that he would follow this route There is no question but that Scott s route was reserved for him Amundsen s route led due south They would follow the compass and not veer aside The terrain must be very difficult indeed if it is to prevent us from climbing up onto the plateau Now we ourselves are looking at this terrain the mountains that bear the names of Amundsen s benefactors Fridtjof Nansen and Don Pedro Christoffersen We delight in this spectacle we rejoice that the weather reports promise favourable winds Today we sailed 54 kilometres Position S 83 33 392 W 163 52 929 Temperature 18 C

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-11-17-sailing-towards-land.html (2014-09-28)
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  • A new era | South Pole 1911-2011
    extra piece of chocolate at lunchtime We are nearing the end of the first 700 kilometres An eventful day We soon reached the wave mentioned yesterday It was very high 300 ft according to the barometer Amundsen on this day 100 years ago Read more On a day like this what could be better than a little ski trip Photo Norwegian Polar Institute Today we also passed the starting point of Asle T Johansen s expedition Those three men two of whom are using gear from Amundsen s time are retracing Amundsen s route from that point We have been informed that they are currently at the base of the Axel Heiberg Glacier Somewhere behind us we have British Army expedition which set out a couple weeks ago They are covering the same distance as we are but without depots Impressive Two more groups are on their way to different starting points along the 1911 route Christian Eide will guide a group of about 10 people from the base of the Axel Heiberg Glacier but they are currently weatherbound i Punta Arenas Christian has our heartfelt sympathy Later on Børge Ousland will lead a group that intends to ski the

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-11-16-a-new-era.html (2014-09-28)
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