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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 11 months ago

Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen


Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (16 July 1872 - 18 June 1928), Norwegian polar explorer. His Antarctic expedition of 1910-1912 was first to reach the South Pole. He was first to traverse the Northwest Passage between Atlantic and Pacific oceans, in the ship Gjøa. On that expedition he learned Arctic survival and the use of sleddogs from the Netsilik people. His next intention was to go to the North Pole. He abandoned those plans upon hearing of the Frederick Cook and Robert E. Peary claims, and instead set his sights on the South Pole. He set out for the Antarctic in 1910 in Fridtjof Nansen's ship Fram under great secrecy. Amundsen made careful preparations, took navigational precautions sufficient to ensure the validity of his claim, and on 14 December 1911 reached the South Pole with four other men and sixteen Greenland dogs, having slaughtered another 24 dogs to feed the remainder. Amundsen reached his objective 35 days ahead of the ill-fated British expedition of Robert Falcon Scott.

Amundsen eventually reached the North Pole as well. He embarked in the ship Maud on an expedition that began in 1918 and lasted until 1925, and made an approach by airplane that failed to reach the Pole. The following year Amundsen overflew the Arctic in the lighter-than-airship Norge. Some regard this as the first verified expedition to reach the Pole.

Amundsen's change of plans resulted indirectly in the acquisition of Siberian dogs by Leonhard Seppala, when his employer Jafet Lindeberg turned a group of fifteen sleddogs over to him that had been intended for the first Amundsen North Pole expedition.


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