Roald Amundsen’s great achievement of reaching the Geographic South Pole 100 years ago was celebrated in style this season. The Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, came to honor Amundsen’s expedition and unveiled a specially commissioned ice bust of the great man during a moving ceremony.
Prime Minister Stoltenberg also met a number of Norwegian expeditions that had skied or flown to the South Pole, many of whom came on ALE Experiences especially to be at the event. To look after these groups, ALE built a camp near the South Pole that could accommodate up to 100 people. Equipment was moved to the Pole in early December and in 4 or 5 days the ALE camp was in place. In the end the camp housed 93 people, all of whom attended the Amundsen celebrations lead by Prime Minister Stoltenberg.
Amundsen-Scott South Pole station is operated by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), who had pulled out all the stops to make the event a success. NSF had placed a temporary Visitor Center and shop near the pole and these were very much appreciated by our guests. Having a heated area near the Pole made visits so much more enjoyable, and we were able to talk with scientists and Pole staff in the Center about the incredible research undertaken there.
Amundsen and his team were duly toasted and famous Norwegian explorers read notes from the expedition’s diaries. Scott’s expedition was not forgotten and his remarkable achievements were also honored.