Posted by: Sarah | September 5, 2011

On Thin Ice: 100 Years Since The South Pole Was First Reached

At school we were taught all about Captain Scott of the Antarctic and how he battled his way to be the first to the South Pole only to find that he was beaten by someone else a month earlier.  It was even more tragic that Scott and his crew died on the return journey.  What I didn’t realise (perhaps because I wasn’t paying attention at school) was that he was beaten to the South Pole by a Norwegian – Roald Amundsen!

On the 2nd September a new exhibition opened in Cambridge University’s Scott Polar Research Institute Museum to celebrate 100 years since the expedition, showing artefacts from Amundsen’s expedition – some of which have never been seen in public before.  Items have been loaned by Amundsen’s family in Oslo including his knife, camera, watch, flags from sledges and even a biscuit!  The exhibition is open until the 19th November.

Last weekend Eliot’s parents visited us as we took them to The Fram Museum on Bygdøy near Oslo.  Here you can learn more about the expedition that Amundsen led and actually climb aboard The Fram.  This was the ship Amundsen used to get as far south as he could before he started using dog sledges to reach the South Pole.  This is apparently where Scott failed as he tried to use mechanical sledges and pack ponies.

It’s a fascinating story and if anyone has been watching Harry’s Arctic Heroes on BBC1 where Prince Harry joins wounded soldiers on an expedition to the North Pole, you’ll see just how tough the conditions are in those surroundings.

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