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The South Pole – An account of the Norwegian Expedition in the “Fram” 1910-1912 – Roald Amundsen – Queensland University Facsimile 1976

Short Description

Facsimile edition, and a scarce one, published under the moniker of the University of Queensland Press in 1976. The original edition was published in 1912 and is highly collectable. Two volumes bound as one making it quite an impressive book in stature xxv, 392 pages; x, 449 pages. Illustrated from the original with plates and maps, one folding of each. A very good copy in a very good dust jacket.

The first to the pole. Account of Amundsen’s legendary dash to the Pole. He beat Scott’s Expedition by a month reaching the Pole on 14th December 1911. The use of dog sleds, better clothing, nutrition and a single minded purpose are factors that put Amundsen ahead of Scott.

Norwegian Captain Roald Amundsen had initially intended make an expedition to the Arctic, but changed his plans at the last moment and announced he would try for the South Pole instead. His explanation to the public was that if he could beat the English and Japanese expeditions to the Pole then he could secure success and funds for his extensive Arctic expedition, and also snatch the prize for his own country.

Amundsen sailed southward in the Fram to the Bay of Whales that would afford his expedition both the shortest route to the Pole and a route that would not overlap with either the Japanese or the English expeditions. From start to finish, Amundsen’s expedition ran like clockwork. He carefully planned every moment of the trip, using his experience in the Arctic and his extensive knowledge of dog-teams to help him through. His team was entirely Norwegian, accustomed to a harsh and cold climate, and were excellent ski-runners. In addition, Amundsen travelled light; he brought five men and fifty dogs on his expedition so that the latter could eventually serve as food for the former. Part of what doomed Scott’s party was the fact that he favoured men and ponies over dogs, bringing twelve men, eight ponies, and only twenty-six dogs.

Amundsen’s party remained in excellent health and always had enough to eat from their plentiful provisions at their well-stocked supply depots. They also supplemented their food stores with a great seal hunt just before the winter, after which 120,000 lb. of fresh seal meat were added to their stores, which helped protect them against scurvy.

Unlike Scott’s party, Amundsen’s party were also fortunate enough to have favourable weather conditions on their side, so that they were able to reach the Pole using their supply depots and dog sleds in just 99 days, a distance of 1860 miles, covering an astonishing average of 19 miles a day over frozen and difficult ground. Their journey was truly an extraordinary accomplishment, and Amundsen’s account of it is no less riveting

Amundsen – Fine facsimile of The South Pole published by Queensland University

Price: $140.00

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