Great God! This is an awful place.

“Great God! This is an awful place.” — Scott’s diaries


Robert Falcon Scott and his men at the South Pole, in front of Amundsen’s “Polheim.” Left to right: Scott, Bowers, Wilson, and P. O. Evans, 18 January 1912. Photo: Lawrence Oates.


Team photo at the South Pole: Wilson, Scott and Oates (standing); and Bowers and Evans (sitting), 18 January 1912. Photo by Henry Bowers.

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Amundsen shooting the sun


“Taking an observation at the pole”. In: “The South Pole”, by Roald Amundsen, 1872-1928. P. 112, Volume II, Library Call Number M82.1/99 A529s, NOAA Photo Library.

“Using Amundsen’s diary, Roland Huntford (in The Amundsen Photographs) describes the photo as “Shooting the sun at the South Geographical Pole. Amundsen (left) is holding a sextant. Helmer Hanssen (right) is bending over the artificial horizon, which is a tray of mercury. Amundsen is lining up the direct image of the sun with its reflection in the surface of the mercury.” — [Controversy and more information about this photograph:]

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Amundsen’s route


Amundsen’s route to the South Pole, in red [image via]

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Amundsen reaches the South Pole


Amundsen and his team reached the South Pole on 14 December 1911.

“Roald Amundsen, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting (l–r) at “Polheim”, the tent was upright at the South Pole on 16 December 1911. The top flag is the Flag of Norway; the bottom is marked “Fram”. Photograph by Olav Bjaaland.”

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Crucial adjustments


Olav Bjaaland shaving off 2/3 of the sledges’ weight without compromising their sturdiness; Amundsen’s South Pole Expedition, 1910-12.


“[Oscar] Wisting is sitting in the Great Ice Barrier and sewing tents on his Singer—in +14°…He is sewing new, light groundsheets in the tents. By these means, we will save several kilos.” — Amundsen, diaries; Amundsen’s South Pole Expedition, 1910-12.

[images and quotes via]

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Amundsen in his hut


Amundsen in his hut, 1911 [image via]

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Scott and the Terra Nova polar party, man-hauling, 1911-12 [image via]

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