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Nerve-Wracking Race to See to the South Pole – 1911

Nerve-Wracking Race to See to the South Pole – 1911

The Norwegians were so determined to win that they planned in advance to take advantage of the weaker dogs to feed the other dogs and people during the expedition, while the British found it distasteful.

Today the anniversary of the first human conquest of the South Pole is commemorated. This venture was performed by an expedition of five led by Norwegian Roald Amundsen. It is interesting that, almost simultaneously, another team was headed for the South Pole, led by Briton Robert F. Scott. Therefore, a kind of race took place as to see who will reach the Pole first.

Amundsen’s team was more successful for several reasons. Firstly, they used dogs for the journey, while Scott primarily used ponies. Furthermore, Amundsen’s team had Eskimo-style clothes made of fur, while the British had woolen clothes, which turned out insufficiently warm. The Norwegians were moving on skis on which they were accustomed to from an early age, while the British walked. Finally, while the British took geological samples for scientific research during the trip, Amundsen made the conquest of the South Pole his only goal.

He was so determined to win that he planned from the start to have weaker animals killed in order to feed the other animals and the men themselves, while the British found it distasteful. Amundsen went on a trip with 52 dogs, and returned with 11. The final outcome was that Amundsen’s team arrived at the Pole 34 days earlier and that all its members returned. Scott’s team was late and, on their return, he and his men were trapped in the ice and died. Scott’s body was found in the snow half-a-year later.

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