Amundsen, Roald (1872-1928) Norwegian polar explorer; was first to
the South Pole (1911). He gave his name to a sea, the arm of
the South Pacific West Antarctica off Marie Byrd Land, and to
Amundsen Gulf, the southeastern extension of the Beaufort Sea of
the Arctic Ocean, and named the subdivision of the Transantarctic
Mountains of central Antarctica for Queen Maud Mountains after
the Norwegian Queen.
Amundsen borrowed Fridtjof Nansen's ship "Fram" in
which Nansen and his crew had spent three years (1893 - 96)
drifting with the ice from Siberia towards the North Pole. When
news reached Amundsen in 1909 that the American Robert Peary had
reached the North Pole, and he also knew that the Englishman
Robert Falcon Scott was working on his second attempt to reach
the South Pole, Amundsen - with his driving ambition to be first
- resolved to get there first.
But who was the first?
The first expedition to reach the South Pole was Amundsen's,
but there are doubts on the claims of both Peary and, later, the
American Richard Byrd to have reached the North Pole.
If Peary's claims are discredited, then Richard Byrd, who
claimed to have flown over the pole in his Fokker monoplane in
May 1926, must be next in line for the title of first at the
pole. But modern research has cast serious doubts on the validity
of his claims.
If the claims of both Peary and Byrd are discredited, or at
least not sufficiently proven, then Amundsen must be the only
contender for the title of first man at both poles. Posterity
will hopefully clarify this point.
Amundsen received 65 orders, decorations, and medals as signs
of recognition from Norway, Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany,
Czechoslovakia, USA, Austria og Italy. The majority of these are
of gold and of exclusive orders.
The eastern of two adjacent bays in the western part of Enderby Land which is 44 km wide in the north, narrowing in the south, and with a length of 88 km. The bay was seen as a large pack-filled recession in the coastline by Sir Douglas Mawson on 14 January,1930. Seen by Captain Hj. Riiser-Larsen in charge of a Norwegian expedition during a flight on 15 January, 1930, and subsequently mapped nearer its true position by the Norwegians. An ANARE party led by P.W. Crohn landed by aircraft in 1956. Phillip Law led an ANARE party which landed inside the bay from MV Thala Dan in February, 1958. Named by Mawson after Roald Amundsen.
Latitude: 66° 55' 00.1" S (-66.9167°)
Longitude: 50° 00' 00.0" E (50°)
Articles: Roald Amundsen
The Roald Amundsen Centre for Arctic Research at the University of Tromsø. Their English pages are not yet available, but you can view their old pages at http://www.arctic.uit.no/English/index.html.