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  • All thanks to Nansen | South Pole 1911-2011
    eyes He knows all the Norwegians who have skied to the South Pole At present Sharp is working hard with Antarctic operations Antarctic Logistics Expeditions ALE to ensure that this centenary season and the celebration of Amundsen s flag raising will be as successful as possible But Sharp has a special relationship with a polar explorer who never set foot in Antarctica According to Mike Sharp it was all thanks to Fridtjof Nansen that Sharp s family came to England Nansen took the initiative to an identification certificate for stateless refugees Starting 1922 the Nansen passport made it possible for refugees to travel without losing the right to return to their original country of asylum These passports were issued to 450 000 people up until 1939 the document was absolutely essential for many Russian Armenian Syrian and Turkish refugees Sharp doesn t know very much about his grandmother s dramatic history but he knows that she fled from the Russian revolution as a small girl He knows his family comes from St Petersburg but not what paths they took nor when they arrived in England and he doesn t know how long they might have lived as refugees within the

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-28-all-thanks-to-nansen.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Where ice melts without warmth | South Pole 1911-2011
    Have been forced to stay put Amundsen on this day 100 years ago Read more The ice caps of Greenland left and Antarctica right flow towards the coast where monumental icebergs calve into the ocean Figure Based on material from K Steffen CIRES University of Canada Antarctica is renowned for its cold The mountains in the middle of Antarctica are buried under several kilometres of ice that never melts The highest temperature ever recorded at the South Pole is 13 6 C and the yearly average is a frigid 50 C So how could anyone be worried that a few degrees of warming could make the ice melt The answer lies at the coast Antarctica s ice creeps slowly towards the north but speeds up in the steeper terrain farther north When it reaches the sea the ice spreads out across hundreds of kilometres lying atop the water The Antarctic continent is surrounded by floating glaciers several hundred metres thick In this way it differs from Greenland where the ice flows out into fjords just like the Svalbard glaciers we know so well see the figure The climate at the coast especially along the Antarctic Peninsula is much milder than in the continent s altitudinous inland Temperatures around freezing are relatively common in the summer months In addition these more northerly areas have seen a particularly strong warming trend in the past decades This has led to increased calving from the floating ice Several ice shelves have collapsed and disappeared altogether When they are gone the ice lying over solid ground flows more quickly The damming effect of the ice shelf has been eliminated This leads to a domino effect Melting at the coast triggers accelerated outflow of ice from the constantly sub zero areas farther inland Faster ice flow

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-27-where-the-ice-melts-without-warmth.html (2014-09-28)
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  • We will do as planned | South Pole 1911-2011
    waiting polar travellers about the weather conditions in Antarctica Photo Harald Dag Jølle Norwegian Polar Institute Many polar travellers have gathered Some intend to travel far and are in a hurry Others have more time available A few are considering taking a shorter excursion than planned because of the delay Some are from Spain others from Australia Several are from Great Britain A few are from Finnmark in northern Norway One is from Hamar in southern Norway Some are showing signs of stress Others have a more relaxed attitude even if they may not make it home for Christmas We have said it many times before but we say it again there is nothing anyone can do about the weather in Antarctica And we repeat we were mentally prepared for delays Nonetheless it s frustrating when reality doesn t want to play along with our plans We find no consolation in attempts to convince ourselves that we modern human beings benefit from such experiences Waiting Boredom Being reminded that it isn t possible to predict everything That humans sometimes have to wait until Mother Nature has finished showing off her muscles But and many of the people back home are wondering about this what will we do now that we are so badly delayed The answer is clear and simple we will start from the Bay of Whales as planned and take as much time as we need for a safe secure journey to the South Pole We still believe it is possible to get there in time for the Centenary celebration 14 December but we are prepared for the possibility that the celebration will take place without us We want to follow Amundsen s route It is that excursion and the accompanying outreach that we have been planning and

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-26-we-will-do-as-planned.html (2014-09-28)
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  • South Pole speed record | South Pole 1911-2011
    on over snow ice and crevasses at 50 km hour We can only imagine how bruised and battered the drivers will be when they alight at the Pole Huge fuel tanks have been mounted at the rear of the vehicle but it will also tow a sled full of all the field gear required Even an expedition of this kind must be prepared for inclement weather and involuntary stops Antarctic tourism is developing at a tremendous pace The largest category of tourists is those who visit the Antarctic Peninsula aboard cruise liners A few years ago the number climbed to over 40 000 but visits have stabilised in the wake of the financial crisis This steady stream of tourists highlights several challenges such as unreliable nautical maps inadequate search and rescue services extremely limited possibilities of handling oil spills and potential threats to penguin colonies and cultural heritage sites Land based tourism is still on a relatively modest scale but this type of tourism is extremely demanding in terms of logistics and safety This year nearly 200 mountaineers intend to climb Mount Vinson elevation 4897 m the highest peak in Antarctica About the same number of people intend to go

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-25-south-pole-speed-record-in-many-ways.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Who’ll find the fiver? | South Pole 1911-2011
    years ago Read more Stein and Vegard have great faith in our specially made lunch bars from United Bakeries They taste good and provide a lot of sustenance Photo Harald Dag Jølle Norwegian Polar Institute The breakfast we will eat on our trip is composed of 130 grams of Axa Energy Muesli 30 grams of bran 30 grams of infant formula and 25 grams of butter Rinsed down with a cup of hot chocolate that gives us 1060 vital kilocalories Remy Goulignac head of United Bakeries who is a sports enthusiast and very fit himself helped us vacuum pack 276 of these mixes They were delivered to Vegard s door the Friday before our departure with the following intriguing message One of the packages contains a five crown coin The finder and his family win a long weekend in Paris on his return including several visits to restaurants and family adventures We will get back with a more detailed report about the struggle for the right breakfast package Remy is also the man behind an important part of our lunch He has baked a compact lunch bar packed with energy and consisting of various types of grain almond slices honey raisins and cranberries Not only does it taste great but two 100 gram bars provide us with 1000 kilocalories Along with 190 grams Nøtti Frutti nuts and dried fruit from Den Lille Nøttefabrikken a thermos of Ekström s blueberry soup and a roll of Smil or Freias milk chocolate it totals nearly 3000 kilocalories We hope it will give us the strength to handle our 10 hour skiing stints every day Our dinner is Real brand freeze dried camping food with extra butter and meat A Rett i koppen brand instant soup will serve as the starter while we compose

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-24-who-will-find-the-fiver.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Bar Shackleton | South Pole 1911-2011
    a way up onto the Polar Plateau With three of his men he planted the British flag in the snow at 88 23 S just 180 km from the South Pole They had found the route Scott was to follow three years later But the greatest thing he did says the adventurer from Isfjorden contentedly over a cup of good strong coffee was to rescue his men from Elephant Island That has to be one of the most mind boggling feats ever accomplished For the uninitiated the polar historian recounts the story in a nutshell Shackleton left London in 1914 with the ambitious goal of crossing Antarctica from the Weddell Sea over the South Pole to the Ross Sea But his ship Endurance was entrapped in ice crushed and sank 27 October 1915 After a dramatic escape the crew came ashore at Elephant Island at the northern end of the Antarctic Peninsula They were on land but it was no place to stay And the likelihood of being found was essentially nil Winter was taking its icy grip on the south but Shackleton chose five men to accompany him in an attempt to sail one of the lifeboats over to South Georgia After fifteen horrific days at sea braving all the storms and hurricanes the Southern Ocean had to offer incredibly they made landfall on the tiny island 8 May 1916 Shackleton and his companions did not stop there but went on for another 36 hours climbing over a mountain to reach the Norwegian whaling station Strømnes And now Punta Arenas comes into the picture After three unsuccessful attempts to reach Elephant Island in the winter once with the Norwegian whaler Southern Sky Shackleton came to this city and got hold of the Chilean ship Yelcho and 30 August 1916

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-23-bar-shackleton.html (2014-09-28)
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  • The race is being recreated by the British themselves | South Pole 1911-2011
    on the flight after ours whenever that may be Overcast and thick when we started at 8 a m After a little while it cleared overhead but the whole horizon remained thick Amundsen on this day 100 years ago Read more Norwegian and British polar adventurers compare notes and discuss choice of route Photo Harald Dag Jølle Norwegian Polar Institute The British had actually hoped for a race with a comparable group from the Norwegian armed forces But nobody in Norway took them up on the idea so now they are competing against themselves While Norway is deliberately toning down the racing aspect of the 100 year celebration the British are doing the opposite Worsley s Amundsen team will start from the same place as we do But since they will be starting after us and will be pulling heavier sleds we do not expect to see them on the ice One cannot help but admire their pluck Although the leaders of the two teams have skied to the South Pole before several of the others have but a few days experience on skis The only time the team has previously skied together was when they spent a week in Femund last January The expedition carries with it the polar medal awarded posthumously to Lawrence Oates by King George in 1912 Oates was the man who rose up and left Scott s tent with the words I am just going out and may be some time The presence of the doomed Englishmen is almost tangible when the little box is opened and the medal uncovered In accordance with good British tradition the proceeds of the expedition will be given to charity The two teams hope to pull in 500 000 for the Royal British Legion and rehabilitation of soldiers wounded

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-22-the-race-is-being-recreated-by-the-british-themselves.html (2014-09-28)
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  • Nok en utsettelse! | South Pole 1911-2011
    good day for travelling Amundsen on this day 100 years ago Read more Fram stuck in the ice during her second expedition Photo Norwegian Polar Institute We try to console ourselves by saying that this is nothing compared to what others have experienced near the poles Many of the people who have travelled to Antarctica in modern times have had to wait several weeks for good enough weather to fly in or out says Jan Gunnar in an effort to cheer us up This is nothing compared to back in the old days says the polar historian Back then the delays could last months or years Nansen had to spend the winter in Greenland when he missed the last boat destined for Europe in 1888 The second Fram expedition against their will were frozen in for a second winter when they could not break free of the ice in 1901 And the man who later became director of the Norwegian Polar Institute Harald Ulrik Sverdrup spent seven years aboard Maud from 1918 to 1925 But those men were made of sterner stuff than modern human beings says Stein drily We lost our patience gene somewhere along the way Come on

    Original URL path: http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no/en/diary/south-pole/2011-10-21-another-delay.html (2014-09-28)
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