The Expedition - outreach through adventure and science

This year, Norway is celebrating two of its great polar heroes with the Nansen-Amundsen Year 2011. An important part of this celebration is informational outreach in the form of a modern-day Antarctic adventure, with special emphasis on polar history and scientific issues – past and present. It will also reveal that the race to the Poles involved much more than just getting there first.
Historical pictures from the South Pole

The Expedition is one of the projects within the Nansen-Amundsen Year 2011, and will be an official celebration of the fact that 100 years have passed since Amundsen was the first man to reach the South Pole and that it is 150 years since Fridtjof Nansen was born.

Through television screens, the Internet and books, we hope to use this expedition as a showcase for different aspects of the polar regions and share them with the general public. We want to reflect on the circumstances that made Amundsen arrive first at the South Pole in 1911, inquire into how the polar regions have become part of Norway’s national identity and self-image, and discuss the importance these regions will have for the future – to understand changes in global climate. The expedition team therefore includes some of Norway’s foremost representatives of what Nansen’s and Amundsen’s expeditions were all about: skiing, research, and adventure.

Amundsen’s expedition will form the backdrop throughout the Centenary Expedition. Using Amundsen’s diary from 1911, we will track his progress and experiences day by day on his trek toward 90 degrees South. This “2011 edition” will also shed new light on the drama that occurred at the beginning of the trip to the South Pole in 1911 – an expedition that was supposed to go north to realize Nansen’s visions about climate research and exploration of the Arctic Ocean. Amundsen illustrates with crystal clarity the tension of balancing between research, adventure and the drive to be first to the Pole.