Second Stage of the Expedition

Published on 23.11.2011 - South Pole 1911-2011 NPI

The team of four is approaching the legendary Axel Heiberg glacier. Every day, there is an Amundsen trace on the way.

Traces of Amundsen almost everywhere

This time, we discover the history of the Mount Betty, Norwegian NPI expedition is passing nearby. Of course Amundsen has been there when on his way to the South Pole. The first time the big Norwegian explorer and his compamions bare earth since they left the island of Madeira, in 1910. Now that he stands on a little hump or rock, he has to name the place just because no one has ever been there before. A solid tradition in the polar world. The Antarctic is full of places, valleys, ridges, peaks, glaciers and mountains named after an historical figure. So this time, Amundsen names the hill he was crossing 'Mount Betty' after the nanny who had looked after him throughout his childhood.

In the days to come, we'll be close and even on the climb of the famous Axel Heiberg glacier, discovered by Amundsen on his way to the pole.

Who was Axel Heiberg ?

Axel Heiberg (1848-1932) was a Norwegian diplomat, financier and patron. He studied abroad and, after a period as Norwegian consul in China, returned to Norway, where he financed the creation of the Ringnes brewery in 1876 together with the brothers Amund Ringnes (brewer) and Ellef Ringnes (administrator and salesman).

Together with the shipowner Thomas Fearnley, the brewery sponsored the polar expeditions of Fridtjof Nansen and Otto Sverdrup, and funded the construction of the exploration vessel Fram. This led to Heiberg's name being given to Axel Heiberg Island in Canada, the Axel Heiberg Glacier in Antarctica, and the Heiberg Islands in Siberia.

In 1878, Heiberg was one of the founders of the Rowing Club Christiania RK. Later he founded the "Consul Axel Heiberg and Manufacturer Hans B. Fasmer Fund" -in 1915 transferred to the Fridtjof Nansen Fund. In 1898, he was one of the founders of the Norwegian Forestry Society, and was chairman until 1923. He also funded the statues of Henrik Ibsen and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson outside the National Theater in Oslo.

That said, the team is wondering if they'll make it on time to arrive at the Pole on 14 December. For the moment they stand 99 km behind Amundsen' schedule and they are about half way to the SP. That makes them say that they have entered now the second stage of their journey. But they still have to climb the AH glacier which will be probably covered with deep snow.

Tomorrow, a great moment in their adventure : their meeting with the famous and legendary Axel Heiberg glacier...


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