South Pole 1911-2011 NPI

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From 03.11.2011 to - Status: success

The Norwegian Polar Insitute is going to the South Pole together with History

The Norwegian Polar Insitute is going to the South Pole together with History

© Norwegian Polar Institute's website

Four Norwegian adventurers chosen by the Norwegian Polar Institue (NPI) are retracing Amundsen’s route, taking the same amount of time as Amundsen’s expedition, and trying to reach the southernmost point on Earth on 14 December 2011, arriving 100 years to the day after Amundsen.

These four Norwegians are (see on the photo) : Vegard Ulvang (4), Jan-Gunnar Winther (1), Stein P. Aasheim (2) and Harald Dag Jølle (3).

  • Vegard Ulvang, the skier, 48. One of Norway’s all-time greatest skiers. Vegard has 14 World Championship and Olympic medals and has won many competitions in the World Cup. He has also undertaken a series of expeditions in various parts of the world.
  • Jan-Gunnar Winther, the researcher, 49. Director of the Norwegian Polar Institute. Jan-Gunnar has a PhD in polar hydrology from the Norwegian Institute of Technology and has been involved in polar research for 20 years. His specialty is climate studies of glaciers and sea ice. In 2007-2008 he led the Norwegian-American research traverse to the South Pole, a project under the International Polar Year.
  • Stein P. Aasheim, the adventurer, 60. The nestor of Norwegian adventurers after having scaled peaks (including the first Norwegian climb up Mt. Everest), paddled rivers, traversed through deserts and jungles and sailed the seven seas. Stein has published a dozen books and created many television programmes.
  • Harald Dag Jolle, the historian, 40. Polar historian at the Norwegian Polar Institute. Harald Dag was co-editor of a three-part reference work on Norwegian polar history (Norsk polarhistorie) and recently published a biography of Fridtjof Nansen for the publishing house Gyldendal Norsk Forlag. Like the others, he is no novice to long ski trips and steep mountains.

The Expedition is one of the projects within the Nansen-Amundsen Year 2011, and will be an official celebration of the fact that 100 years have passed since Amundsen was the first man to reach the South Pole and that it is 150 years since Fridtjof Nansen was born.

Excerpts of their press communiqué : " ... Through television screens, the Internet and books, we hope to use this expedition as a showcase for different aspects of the polar regions and share them with the general public. We want to reflect on the circumstances that made Amundsen arrive first at the South Pole in 1911, inquire into how the polar regions have become part of Norway’s national identity and self-image, and discuss the importance these regions will have for the future – to understand changes in global climate. The expedition team therefore includes some of Norway’s foremost representatives of what Nansen’s and Amundsen’s expeditions were all about: skiing, research, and adventure.

Amundsen’s expedition will form the backdrop throughout the Centenary Expedition. Using Amundsen’s diary from 1911, we will track his progress and experiences day by day on his trek toward 90 degrees South. This “2011 edition” will also shed new light on the drama that occurred at the beginning of the trip to the South Pole in 1911 – an expedition that was supposed to go north to realize Nansen’s visions about climate research and exploration of the Arctic Ocean. Amundsen illustrates with crystal clarity the tension of balancing between research, adventure and the drive to be first to the Pole. ..."

The team has arrived in Punta Arenas on 12 October. But it has not yet made it to the bay of Whales, the place from where Amundsen started his journey to the pole. This means this expedition has already started.


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