South Pole exploration: Sir Ernest Shackleton In 1907, Ernest Shackleton embarked on an expedition to the South Pole aboard his ship Nimrod . 1912: On January 18, Robert F. Scott, Edward Wilson, Edgar Evans and Lawrence Oates reach the South Pole.Unfortunately, Amundsen had already been there and left a flag marking the spot. The Norwegians took an untested route that forced them navigate a frozen maze of crevasses, mountains and glaciers, but by early December, they had penetrated farther into the heart of Antarctica than anyone in history. On January 1908, Mawson and his team raised the British Flag over the geomagnetic South Pole. READ MORE: The Stunning Survival Story of Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition, Captain Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen at the South pole under the Norwegian flag. The ship was blown away from its moorings and the shore party was left with no supplies, except what remained in the hut from previous expeditions. “It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more.”, Robert Falcon Scott’s Pole party of his ill-fated expedition, from left to right at the Pole: Oates (standing), Bowers (sitting), Scott (standing in front of Union Jack flag on pole), Wilson (sitting), Evans (standing). “Our chance still holds good if we can put the work in, but it’s a terribly trying time.” It was mid-January 1912, and the 43-year-old Royal Navy officer was nearly 800 miles into a journey to one of the last unexplored places on the globe: the geographic South Pole. Studying astronomy the ancient Greeks theorized of the southern region of earth. 1821 – On February 7, Captain John Davis a sealer from Connecticut and his crew from the American sealing ship, Cecilia, claim to have landed on the Antarctic continent for less than a hour at Hughes Bay (64°01’S) looking for seals. Amundsen, born in Borge, near Oslo, He was almost successful, falling just 97 miles short. Scott sets out in the spring for the South Pole. In 1910, British adventurer Robert Falcon Scott (1868–1912) set out for the South Pole. Britain’s Vivian Fuchs team converted Ferguson farm tractors to cross the Antarctic from the Weddell Sea in the Fuchs Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Under the leadership of Shakeltons second in command, Frank Wild, most of the party spent 105 days of the bitter winter living under upturned boats eating seal meat. The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is one of the two points where Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. His 34-man shore party was tasked with conducting scientific research and collecting wildlife and rock samples, but Scott, who had previously led an Antarctic mission in 1902, was also determined to make a run at the Pole. Reaching the South Pole first and planting a flag was a big prize for explorers from these countries. This AAE journey is regarded as the one of the greatest polar scientific expeditions of all times because of the detailed observations in magnetism, geology, biology, and meteorology. From Dawson 1908 expedition with Shakelton, Dawson wanted to explore the Area of Antarctica south of Australia. Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer who was the first to reach the South Pole, the first to make a ship voyage through the Northwest Passage, and one of the first to cross the Arctic by air. On 9 January 1909, Shackleton, Frank Wild, Eric Marshall and Jameson Adams come within 97 miles of the South Pole, but the return trip almost costs them their lives. The Stunning Survival Story of Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition, When Hitler Sent a Secret Expedition to Antarctica in a Hunt for Margarine Fat. In 1911, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen both aimed to be the first to reach the South Pole. Scott got underway just a few days later on November 1. Since I was one of the five who, on that December afternoon, took part in this unveiling, it has fallen to my lot to write -- the history of the South Pole. The severely frostbitten Lawrence Oates followed a month later after sacrificing himself in a blizzard to avoid slowing down the team. 1909. They began the slow slog north, but exhaustion, frostbite and malnourishment had soon spread through their ranks. This expedition is to lay the foundation for modern oceanography. Two years later, he died in a plane crash while searching for a missing explorer over Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. After numerous attempts to walk and haul their lifeboats to open water the 28 men of the Endurance are forced to camp on floating ice for five months eventually made camp and waited until the pack ice broke up in the spring before taking the boats to Elephant Island. The first women to winter over in Antarctica were Edith Ronnie and Jennie Darlinton, who accompanied their husbands on a private American expedition that made a base on Stonington Island on the Antarctic Peninsula. And unlike Scott, whose expedition was burdened by its scientific obligations, Amundsen was focused only on reaching the Pole and returning safely. December 14th. The Treaty states that Antarctica will be used for peaceful and scientific purposes. South Pole: A Narrative History of the Exploration of Antarctica. Erebus in Antarctica. This expeditionary party was whalers looking for Southern Right Whales. 1907-1909 Ernest Shackleton leads the second British Antarctic Expedition on the Nimrod. 1910 – Norwegian Roald Amundsen was suppose to head for the North Pole, but took his ship to the South Pole instead. Near the Pole Shakelton determined that his Team was not sufficiently equipped, so they turned around to be safe. Exhausted by weeks of marching into headwinds of at least 30 knots and in -40°F (-40°C) temperatures, Scott and four companions died when they became trapped in a blizzard. In 281 days, Shakelton’s were still 350 miles (560 km) from the coast. However, the next overland expedition to the South Pole was not made until 1958, more than 40 years after Amundsen and Scott's deadly race. “Great God!” Scott wrote in his diary. It also holds in abeyance all claims to territories in this area. They were now less than 80 miles from the finish line, but a single question still loomed over their progress: would they be the first group of men in history to reach the South Pole, or the second? Parties from Britain, Germany, and Sweden are organized. Even before our conception of the earth's form had taken definite shape, voyages to the South began. At 82 degrees south, within 450 miles (720 km) they are forced to return home. 1959 – Antarctic Treaty is signed in Washington, DC with the 12 leading participant countries in the International geophysical Year. It was with a group of all-women explorers. The rest of the party struggled on, but was eventually pinned down for eight days by bad weather, ironically just 11 miles (18 km) from their “one-ton” supply depot. Erebus carrying 257 people onboard that included tourist and crew. 1902 – Robert Scott, Edward Wilson, and Ernest Shakelton leave McMurdo Sound for the first real attempt to reach the South Pole. The British team had reached their destination late in the Antarctic summer, and temperatures were dropping rapidly. Since then, she has led lots of other exploration missions to both the North and South Pole. Norwegian Roald Amundsen leads a five man expedition that reaches the South Pole for … https://www.npolar.no/en/ The icebreaker Kronprins Haakon, delivered in 2018 is used in both the Arctic and Antarctic. This is the first time the Antarctic continent was crossed. At 82 degrees south, within 450 miles (720 km) they are forced to return home. 1772 – Ice-bound islands in the southern Indian Ocean now identified as Iles Kerguelen were discovered by Yves Joseph de Kerguelen-Tremarec. In 1909, Amundsen had announced a new expedition to navigate the ice floe-riddled waters of the Arctic to the North Pole. Landing on the wrong side of the island, they were forced to cross the mountainous island on foot. 1916 – The Ross sea support party fared worse. The South Pole was exploration's last great prize, and was widely expected to be won by the British. 1911 – Amundsen party set up their base at the Bay of Whales that was 69 miles (105 km) closer to the pole than Scott’s base on Ross Island. 1911 – Douglas Mawson Australian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) departs Hobart aboard the Aurora bound for Macquarie Island. The race to the South Pole: Scott and Amundsen. 1 November 1911 Scott’s main party sets out. The men planted the Norwegian flag, smoked celebratory cigars and posed for snapshots, but they only remained for a few days before beginning the arduous trek back to their base camp. “This is an awful place and terrible enough for us to have labored to it without the reward of priority.”. Scott used ponies as well as dogs. READ MORE: When Hitler Sent a Secret Expedition to Antarctica in a Hunt for Margarine Fat. The History of Antarctic Exploration The Beginnings The history of Antarctic exploration includes national and international politics, social change, ... With the South pole 'conquered' the next challenge became to traverse Antarctica, from one coast to the other across the icecap. 1947 – United States Navy organizes operation High jump, bringing 4,000 men, 13 ships, and 23 aircraft to Antarctica. A base is set up at Little America. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Antarctica - Antarctica - History: Many nations were involved in the discovery and early exploration of Antarctica. It is six years before the site can be used again, after 101 barrels of contaminated rock are shipped back to the United States. One hundred miles from Cape Dennison, Mertz became delirious and eventually died. 1913 – Australian Douglas Mawson and six other are forced to spend a second winter at Cape Denison in Commonwealth Bay. Ross determined the approximate position of the South Magnetic Pole but was unable to reach it. 1902 – Robert Scott, Edward Wilson, and Ernest Shakelton leave McMurdo Sound for the first real attempt to reach the South Pole. He reached the South Pole on Jan 17, 1912, a month after Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen did. Sian Flynn reveals how the race for Antarctic glory was run. 7th Century – Sailing south to where “white rock-like forms grew out of a frozen sea” a Raratongan traveler, Ui-te-Rangiara, was the first traveler below the Antarctic Circle according to Polynesian lore. Amundsen.”, On December 14th the arctic explorer Ronald Amundsen was the first, who reached during his antarctic expedition 1910-1912 the South Pole. 1940 – Little America III base is set up at the Bay of Whales under Richard Bryd. 1962 – A nuclear power plant is installed at McMurdo Base by the US Navy. In that year, Robert Falcon Scott attempted the first expedition from Antarctica's coastline to the South Pole. He had hoped to be the first man to achieve the feat, but after the American explorers Frederick Cook and Robert Peary both claimed to have beaten him to the punch, Amundsen secretly changed his plans. Support party held by Sir Edmund Hillary led the way from Ross Island and reaches the South Pole with only 20 gallons (91 liters) of fuel remaining. In July 1895, the Sixth International Geographical Congress was held in London for the primary purpose of rekindling interest in Antarctic exploration. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. Exploration of the South Pole . 1840 Adelie Land was discovered by French explorer Jules Sébastien César Dumont d’Urville, who named it after his wife, Adélie. National Geographic. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Learn more about Amundsen in this article. He had been to Antarctica in the late 19th century, and later became the first man in history to sail the treacherous Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Along the way Shakelton and his team made the first ascent on the summit of Mount Erebus, the 12,448 ft (3794 m) active volcano on Ross Island. There's no doubt that Antarctica is an extreme frontier. The Treaty forms the international Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR). Wilkins successfully traversed most of the length of Graham Land. Antarctica - Antarctica - Discovery of the Antarctic poles: National and personal prestige in attaining the Earth’s poles, as well as territorial acquisition and scientific inquiry, provided strong motivation for polar exploration in the early 1900s. Amundsen, meanwhile, relied solely on skis and sled dogs to cross the tundra. Finally, on October 20, 1911, conditions improved enough for his five-man team to begin their dash to the Pole. On November 17, American Sealer Nathaniel Palmer, captain of the ship Hero, sights the Antarctic continent and is the first American to set foot on the Antarctic continent. Mawson became very ill of Vitamin A poisoning from eating husky dog livers. By the time the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers were found later that November, Roald Amundsen had already returned home in triumph and embarked on a lecture tour. 1831 – The North Magnetic Pole had been discovered. The remaining party was rescued by the Aurora in January 1917. A member of Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole stands on a water-worn iceberg near Mt. To their dismay, they spotted the remnants of Amundsen’s camp just as they were approaching. South Pole. “I am just going outside and may be some time,” he said before leaving the group’s tent and vanishing. Although exploration of Antarctica began in the mid-1800's, attempted exploration of the South Pole did not occur until 1901. There are no survivors. The ponies were not adapted to hauling on the soft snow, and the dogs were only used in support. After wintering on Ross Island, Ernest Shakelton and a team of three others sledged within 97 nautical miles (155 km) of the South Geographic Pole. Shakelton and his crew of five men crossed the mountainous region with no supplies and no mountain climbing equipment and reached the Stromness whaling station. (Credit: Universal History Archive/Getty Images), Thanks to the speed of his dog teams, Amundsen’s party managed to race toward the Pole at a pace of over 20 miles per day. Inside you will find extensive biographical data on the early explorers in addition to significant statistics and examples of the philately of Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands. Captain Cook’s crew eventually circumnavigates Antarctica crossing the Antarctic Circle 3 times. Large areas of coastline and hinterland are mapped. “We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far,” Scott wrote in his last diary entry. The nuclear power plant has a history of fire, radiation leakage, and shutdowns, until it is finally decommissioned in 1972. South Pole Expeditions Antarctica: the coldest, driest and wildest continent. Scott’s five-man party had already endured brushes with blizzards and frostbite during their trek. Despite being a featureless flat bit of ice and snow surrounded by identical looking featureless ice and snow for hundreds of miles (at least) in all directions, the South Pole was a very sought after geographical prize, after several attempt to reach it, Norwegian Roald Amundsen arrived there first as part of a team of 5 men with 18 dogs pulling sledges on the 14th of December 1911. As of 1909 the North Pole—yes, the North—was in his sights. 1910–1912 – Roald Amundsen's South Pole expedition – On 14 December 1911, reached the South Pole (90° S) 1910–1913 – Terra Nova Expedition – On 17 January 1912, Robert Falcon Scott , reached the South Pole (90° S) Ross founded and named Cape Adare after Viscount Adare. In the early 1910s, explorers Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott engaged in a frantic, and ultimately tragic, race to be the first man to reach the South Pole. 1978 – The first human born in Antarctica is from an Argentine base. Norwegian Polar Institute - 1928 - present. Amundsen later tried to get a head start by beginning his journey early in September 1911, but was forced to turn back after temperatures dipped as low as 68 degrees below zero. 1830 – A race of expeditions begins to the magnetic poles. Understanding mathematics and symmetry the Greeks theorized Antarktikos meaning “opposite of north”. (Credit: Public Domain). 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