the South Pole

the Lemaire Channel on the Antarctic Peninsula

Today it’s exactly 100 years ago that Roald Amundsen arrived, as the first human on the South Pole. Together with  his 4 companions Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting and 16 dogs. He started on October 19th, a few weeks before, and a bit further south as Robert Falcon Scott did. Amundsen stayed on the South Pole for three days, taking some measurements to be certain they had arrived at the pole (no GPS-system at that time). After these days they left the pole and headed back to the edge of the continent. They were so efficient that Amundsen handed out leftover provisions as reminders of their journey. Scott arrived three weeks after Amundsen at the pole and had a much easier way of ascertaining they had arrived at the pole. When they arrived at the pole they found a Norwegian flag, a tent and a letter to the King of Norway (in case Amundsen’s party wouldn’t make it back). Amundsen returned, but Scott’s party had less luck. Due to bad weather (and maybe a bit less well planning) all members of Scott’s party died, the last members at only 20 km from a food depot….

The above picture is of a less heroic age, taken from a comfortable expedition cruise ship, but of one of the nicest sceneries of the Antarctic Peninsula: the Lemaire Channel.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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