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  • A wall of ice | South Pole 1911-2011
    like the sea ice we find in the Arctic which is a few metres thick but rather several hundred metre thick glaciers that flow down from the inland ice sheet like a river and spread out over the sea in what is called an ice shelf The ice shelves in the Ross Sea and the Weddell Sea on the other side of Antarctica are two of the largest Our course now leads us 700 km across the Ross Ice Shelf before we begin our ascent to the plateau For sheer scale Antarctica is unsurpassed Getting up onto the ice shelf was a huge challenge for the early expeditions Nowadays helicopters are used to unload the cargo that supply ships bring in for the research stations Roald Amundsen was obliged to locate a place where the ice shelf did not tower quite so high Descriptions from earlier expeditions had convinced him that there was some kind of valley in the dreaded barrier at the Bay of Whales With reverence Amundsen describes the barrier The mythical barrier All accounts without exception from the time our blessed predecessor Ross right through to our day have described this mighty natural phenomenon with fearful awe It was as though the same words could always read between the lines Hush keep silence the mythical barrier The ice flows continuously seaward calving huge rectangular icebergs at the edge These icebergs are often several kilometres long and stick out to 30 40 metres above the sea surface About 90 of the iceberg is under water because the density of pure ice is about 920 kg m 3 whereas the density of seawater is about 1025 kg m 3 In the middle of the Ross Ice Shelf the ice moves about 1 km per year The speed along our

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-31-a-wall-of-ice.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Bay of Whales | South Pole 1911-2011
    humans are very far away Photo Norwegian Polar Institute Outermost on the barrier the ice edge where Framheim lay the glacier has now fractured into unfathomable crevasses Neither we nor our pilot considered it wise to attempt a landing there but we got a good view of the historic site from the air Our starting point is about 40 km south of Framheim and from our tents we can see

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-31-bay-of-whales.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Polar nomad | South Pole 1911-2011
    of ALE right from the start in 2003 He is a cook by profession but is also jack of all trades glacier driver and until recently held the world record in kiting 503 km in 24 hours has ski sailed the length of Greenland and between cooking for staff and guests at Union Glacier he squeezes in a few South Pole excursions Four of them so far In Ronny s case a South Pole excursion entails kiting from the Pole to the coast Ronny Finsås is a polar nomad an ice cowboy so to speak He spends the summer in Finse Norway s Mecca for ski sailing autumn and winter in Antarctica and heads back to Norway for the spring skiing on the Hardanger Plateau His record time from Finse to Geilo 40 km as the crow flies is under one hour and from the South Pole to the coast 1130 km solo is five days During our stopover at Union Glacier Ronny has given us an intensive course in ski sailing The next few days will show if we can put all his good advice and clever tricks to good use Oct 30 Green light for departure to the

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-30-polar-nomad.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Green light for departure to the Bay of Whales | South Pole 1911-2011
    assisted leg of our journey After that we will put on our skis and proceed under our own steam Map Norwegian Polar Institute After studying the satellite images and the weather forecasts with the pilot and the meteorologist for the past two days we think we have found a favourable opening in the weather But in Antarctica the only thing you can be sure of is that everything can change

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-30-departure-to-the-bay-of-whales.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Union Glacier | South Pole 1911-2011
    Amundsen on this day 100 years ago Read more The Basler that will fly us to the Bay of Whales Photo Norwegian Polar Institute ALE is now striving to gather meteorological data about the route from here to the Bay of Whales We are all on tenterhooks waiting to be informed whether or not we can fly onwards today We re ready Union Glacier is a large base expeditions pass through here all summer At present the place is crawling with people who need a lot of time those who will be going on long ski expeditions They come from Norway Australia and Spain Later the adventurers who intend to climb Mount Vinson will arrive followed by last degree skiers who plan 100 km trips people who will fly directly to the South Pole on day trips and tourists who will stay in the immediate vicinity skiing or mountain climbing visit a colony of emperor penguins near the coast or run the annual marathon The airstrip where our Ilyushin landed on the glacial blue ice is 8 km away In the camp itself there is a Twin Otter and a Basler a converted DC 3 fitted with both wheels and skis which enables it to land on both ice and snow It is the Basler that will transport us to the Bay of Whales Apart from that the base consists of two kitchen tents a communication centre storage containers a field hospital a mechanical workshop toilet facilities and a recycling centre All waste is sorted and shipped back to Chile In addition there are many tents Tents are standard accomodations at Union Glacier even for the people who work here all summer four whole months But many of them come back year after year It becomes a lifestyle One of

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-29-union-glacier.html (2014-09-28)
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  • We've arrived at Union Glacier | South Pole 1911-2011
    Read more The landing site at Union Glacier Photo Jan Gunnar Winther Norwegian Polar Institute The weather here is fantastic 28 C and almost no wind at all The base is encircled by fabulous mountains rather reminiscent of those in Svalbard In several places impressive glaciers tumble down the slopes We are all thoroughly pleased to have snow under our feet and are keeping our fingers crossed for a speedy

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-28-arrived-at-union-glacier.html (2014-09-28)
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  • The Norwegian who raised the Chilean flag in Antarctica | South Pole 1911-2011
    day 100 years ago Read more The historian and the adventurer contemplate the monument marking the grave of Norwegian Chilean whaling pioneer Adolf Amandus Andresen Photo Harald Dag Jølle Norwegian Polar Institute Captain Andresen also has the distinction of being the first to raise the Chilean flag on the continent of Antarctica This means it was a Norwegian who paved the way for Chile s territorial claims in the Antarctic Andresen has a central place in this city s history as well as its graveyard This is the story Adolf Andresen immigrated to Chile in 1894 at the age of 22 and worked as a tugboat captain in the waters outside Punta Arenas After noticing the huge numbers of whales he travelled back to Norway learnt the whaling trade off the coast of Finnmark brought back a harpoon cannon to Chile mounted it on one of his tugboats and harpooned his first whale on New Year s Eve 1903 That was a couple years before the more famous Carl Anton Larsen came to South Georgia Andresen subsequently founded the Chilean whaling company Sociedad Ballenera de Magellanes and was the first to establish whaling along the Antarctic Peninsula The company had

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-28-the-norwegian-who-raised-the-chilean-flag-in-antarctica.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Finally on our way to Antarctica | South Pole 1911-2011
    two weeks we ve been waiting for the weather at Union Glacier to stabilise enough to permit incoming flights At long last we are on our way to board the aircraft that will take us there and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the good flying weather will hold out After all we still have another flight ahead of us to the Bay of Whales before we can begin

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-28-finally-on-our-way-to-antarctica.html (2014-09-28)
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