Being towed to the South Pole

“This is beyond our wildest dreams – being towed to the Pole!” Amundsen was ecstatic. The flat expanse of the Ross Ice Shelf made it possible for his team to be towed on their skis behind the dogsleds.
Centenary Expedition to the South Pole 1911–2011 skiing in AntarcticaThe sun is shining, but where’s the heat? Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

Amundsen had expected the dogs to have plenty to deal with just hauling the heavily loaded sleds, but because of the good snow conditions and the easy terrain, everyone on the expedition team could benefit from the pulling power of the mighty Greenland huskies. The day they passed the point where we now stand – 80 degrees, 50 minutes south – Amundsen’s group covered 50 kilometres: “We drove the first 10 km in one hour.”

We trudge onward and search longingly for anything that might lend a helping hand. The snow conditions and the terrain are perfect for ski-sailing, but the wind is blowing straight against us. Still, we’ve heard weather reports that forecast winds from the northwest – so maybe we too will have a chance to be towed to the Pole.

Position: S 80 49.903, W 166 24.274
Temperature: -24°C
Wind: 4 m/s from the south-southeast
Distance traversed: 31 km
Distance behind Amundsen: 244 km