Roald Amundsen was born in Borge (Norway), in 1872 and died in 1928. His mother wanted him to become a doctor but he left his job in 1894 and entered the Norwegian navy. He spent the following nine years studying Science. He took part in a Belgian Antarctic expedition in 1897. He planned to reach the North Pole, but in September 1909 people heard that an American Arctic explorer Robert Peary had already reached the North Pole in April. Then he decided to go to the Antarctic region instead. Another team led by an Englishman, Robert Scott was also heading to the South Pole. The race to reach the South Pole began.
Amundsen spent three months preparing supplies for the trip. He set out with four men, four sledges and forty-eight dogs. Scott was using motor sleighs and ponies for travelling. Amundsen knew that the motors in Scotts sleighs would break down in the fierce cold. In January 1911 Amundsen and Scott set off on their journey to the South Pole. Amundsens companions had to wear dark goggles to protect their eyes from the glare of the bright sun on the white snow. They had to wear many different layers of clothing. During the journey blizzards slowed them down and their noses and cheeks froze.
At last on the 14 th of December 1911 Amundsen and his four companions - Hansse, Hassel, Bjaaland and Wisting - pushed the flag of Norway in the snow. It had taken ninety-nine days to travel 3000 kilometers across the snow. When Amundsen reached home he was a Hero! His book, My Life as an Explorer, told people all about his many adventures.
Images on this page appear thanks to MicroSoft Encarta 96