Norwegian Polar Institute : Expedition is Over
Published on 18.12.2011 - South Pole 1911-2011 NPI
In order to be on time at the SP for the celebration, two people out of the four were flown on 13 December to Amundsen Scott base, while the two remaining continued their ski trek towards the same destination.
Flown to the Pole
The two who were flown were : Jan-Gunnar Winther, the director of the Norwegian Polar Insitute, and Stein P. Aasheim, the 60 years old adventurer. They arrived at the South Pole during the night of 13 December. "We did what we could to make it in time to the Pole for the centenary celebration, said Jan-Gunnar on 13 December. Tonight, after several days with just a couple of hours' rest, we realised that it was not possible. In theory it could work, but not physically. This makes the theory irrelevant...."
The Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Jan-Gunnar Winther will communicate directly via satellite with H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon on 14 December. The Crown Prince attends the national centenary celebration in Tromsø.
Here are some word about what has been going on for the 14 December celebration as described by Jan-Gunnar : "... Because of different time zones, we are ahead of the celebration in Norway. The first event was that Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg skied the last few kilometres of Amundsen’s route in to the South Pole along with Jan-Gunnar Winther, Stein P. Aasheim and Børge Ousland.
Then Prime Minister Stoltenberg gave a speech to all the people at the station, gathered around the ceremonial South Pole, where he also unveiled a bust of Roald Amundsen cast in ice. This outdoor ceremony began with a beautiful rendition of the Norwegian national anthem played on the flute by an American woman who works at the station. After that, Jan-Gunnar shared his thoughts about travelling in Amundsen’s tracks for the past six weeks. About 300 people participated in the commemoration.
Later in the day a reception was held for all the Norwegians who have gathered at the South Pole, followed by a dinner where Americans also participated...."
The other two arrived also at the Pole
Vegard Ulvang, 48, one of Norway’s all-time greatest skiers and Harald Dag Jolle, the historian, 40, arrived at the South Pole on 14 December 11.30 am their time. But as the timezone in South Pole base is the same as the one of New Zealand (12 hours difference with TU), the celebration was already over when the pair made it to the South Pole - 12 hours too short...
Now this expedition is over. Jan Gunnar is accompanying the Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg to MacMurdo and then the fly together to Christchurch, New Zealand. The other three have already flown to Union Glacier ALE base camp. Ready to jump in the first Illyouchine flight to Punta.