Roald Amundsen Born: 1872 Birthplace: Borge, Norway Died: June 1928 (disappeared) Best Known As: Polar explorer from Norway Roald Amundsen made a name for himself with his 1903-06 expedition on the Gjoa ; he was the first to successfully navigate the Northwest Passage and he managed to locate the site of the magnetic North Pole. He planned to be the first to reach the North Pole, but upon hearing that he'd been beaten by Robert Peary (1909), Amundsen secretly switched plans and headed for Antarctica, hoping to be the first to reach the South Pole ( Ernest Shackleton had nearly reached it in 1909). He arrived there December 14, 1911, one month before the ill-fated expedition of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott . In the 1920s Amundsen explored the Arctic by air, and in 1926 was part of the first team to successfully fly from Europe to America over the North Pole. In June of 1928 Amundsen disappeared when his plane crashed in the Arctic while on a rescue mission. Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen
The Norwegian Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) was the first explorer to reach the South Pole . One of the greatest figures in the history of polar exploration, he was also the first to sail through the Northwest Passage. Roald Amundsen was born in Borge. By age 15 he had determined on a career of exploration. He studied sailing techniques, steam navigation, scientific navigation, and terrestrial magnetism, and he trained himself to endure bitter cold and long travel.
After being a mate on an Antarctic expedition, he began at 25 to plan his own expedition. His aims were to attain the Northwest Passage and make magnetic observations near the North Magnetic Pole. His ship, the Gjöa, left Christiania harbor on June 16, 1903. Amundsen completed this voyage in 1906 by reaching the Pacific Ocean. He was the first to sail through the Northwest Passage, via Peel Sound, Roe Strait, Queen Maud Gulf, Coronation Gulf, Amundsen Gulf, Beaufort Sea, and Bering Strait. He had completed the first portion of his Arctic polar cap circumnavigation.
Robert E. Peary's attainment of the North Pole on April 6, 1909, convinced Amundsen that he should try to reach the South Pole. He resolved to reach the pole before the British expedition led by Robert F. Scott. After the establishment of three supply depots, on Oct. 29, 1911, Amundsen began the final dash to the pole with four companions and four sleds. On December 14 the Norwegian flag was flying at the South Pole. (Scott and his party did not arrive until Jan. 17, 1912.) On December 17 Amundsen began the return journey, completing 1,860 miles in 99 days. In 1918 Amundsen left Norway in his ship Maud; his objective was to drift across the north polar sea from Asia to North America, but the polar ice pack made this an impossibility. He did reach Alaska, however, via the Siberian coast in 1920 and thus completed the Northeast Passage. This was the second portion of his circumnavigation of the world within the Arctic Circle.
The last phase of Amundsen's life was spent in new feats of polar exploration involving air travel . These were novel projects, more sensational than scientific in nature. In the spring of 1925 he flew in an airplane from Spitsbergen to within 150 miles of the North Pole. The next spring Amundsen, the American aviator Lincoln Ellsworth, and the Italian colonel Umberto Nobile used the dirigible Norge on the trans-Arctic flight from Spitsbergen to Teller in Alaska. The Norge passed over the North Pole on May 12, 1926. In 1928 Amundsen died in the Arctic during an air relief expedition in search of Nobile and the airship Italia .
Amundsen, Roald: Amundsen and his crew aboard the Gjöa
Hairy moments ... a scene from the documentary portraying Roald Amundsen and two Inuit elders.
Roald Amundsen and his dog team at the South Pole
Roald Amundsen originally planned to discover the North Pole, but American Robert E. Peary reached the pole first, so he set out to discover the South Pole. He crossed the Ross Ice Shelf to reach the pole in 1911. In 1926, Amundsen flew over the North Pole in a dirigible, the Norge.
Amundsen had just announced his intention to use the Fram , a sturdy ship designed by Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen , for an Arctic expedition and attempt on the North Pole when he heard that American explorer Robert Peary had reached it first. He decided instead to go for the unconquered South Pole and set sail in August 1910. British explorer Robert Scott , who had already announced his plans to make an attempt on the South Pole, received news of Amundsen’s plan by telegraph in Melbourne, Australia, on his voyage to Antarctica . Amundsen established his base camp at Framheim, in the Bay of Whales at the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, some 95 km (60 mi) closer to the Pole than Scott’s camp at McMurdo Sound. Amundsen wintered there, preparing for the journey. His first attempt on the South Pole in September 1911 failed due to bad weather, but on October 20 he set out with four men, using sledges and 52 dogs. They reached the South Pole on December 14, 1911, becoming the first to claim this feat. They spent three days in the vicinity of the pole taking measurements to confirm their position, and left at the pole a marker flag and letters to the king of Norway and to Scott. They returned to the Bay of Whales 99 days after they had first set out. Robert Scott
Amundsen’s success was due primarily to his extensive experience in polar conditions, his meticulous planning and attention to minute details, and his ability to endure great physical stress. Amundsen also had more favorable weather conditions during the journey than his ill-fated rival Scott, whose five-man team perished on their return from the pole. Amundsen’s use of dogs for hauling the sledges and as food contrasted sharply with Scott’s expedition, which man-hauled the sledges, thus slowing their progress as well as fatally weakening them.
This is equipment from Roald Amundsen's South Pole expedition. You know, the one where they beat the English...
The first men at the South Pole commemorate the occasion by erecting a tent with their national (Norwegian) flag flying. They leave in the tent a letter and a few supplies. Lightweight for the time, the tent was canvas with bamboo poles to keep it erect. Roald Amundsen - South Pole Expedition 1911