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Okla-homey
1/18/2011, 07:13 AM
Jan 18, 1912: Scott reaches the South Pole

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Robert Falcon Scott

99 years ago today, after a two-month ordeal, the expedition of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott arrives at the South Pole only to find that Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer, had preceded them by just over a month. Disappointed, the exhausted explorers prepared for a long and difficult journey back to their base camp.

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Scott's Expedition at the South Pole, January 18, 1912 L to R: Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Edgar Evans, Robert Scott, Lawrence Oates

Scott, a British naval officer, began his first Antarctic expedition in 1901 aboard the Discovery. During three years of exploration, he discovered the Edward VII Peninsula, surveyed the coast of Victoria Land--which were both areas of Antarctica on the Ross Sea--and led limited expeditions into the continent itself. In 1911, Scott and Amundsen began an undeclared race to the South Pole.

Sailing his ship into Antarctica's Bay of Whales, Amundsen set up base camp 60 miles closer to the pole than Scott. In October, both explorers set off; Amundsen using sleigh dogs and Scott employing Siberian motor sledges, Siberian ponies, and dogs. On December 14, 1911, Amundsen's expedition won the race to the pole. Encountering good weather on their return trip, they safely reached their base camp in late January.

Scott's expedition was less fortunate. The motor sleds soon broke down, the ponies had to be shot, and the dog teams were sent back as Scott and four companions continued on foot. On January 18, they reached the pole only to find that Amundsen had preceded them by over a month. Weather on the return journey was exceptionally bad, two members perished, and Scott and the other two survivors were trapped in their tent by a storm only 11 miles from their base camp. Scott wrote a final entry in his diary in late March. The frozen bodies of he and his two compatriots were recovered eight months later.

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Nearly a century after Capt. Robert Falcon Scott explored the southern continent, experts are working to save the British explorer's wooden hut (pictured on Ross Island, Antarctica, in August 2006) and three others in the area from slipping under the snow forever. The hut is a vortual time capsule in that the severe cold and lack of contact with subsequent visitors has preserved it as Scott left it..

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Scott's bunk in the hut (pictured in 2009) was piled with a reindeer-skin sleeping bag and several blankets. The hut was made of wood prefabricated in England and put together by the ship's crew within eight days of landing

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Like other Antarctic explorers, Scott brought more food than he would actually need. Some of the food items left behind are still staples today, such as the Heinz ketchup and relish pictured above. Scott's hut won't be completely renovatedójust maintained to ensure it survives for future generations, according to the Antarctic Heritage Trust's Morgan. About 300 to 400 tourists visit Scott's last home annually.

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The dining table in the hut (pictured in 2009) still contains bottles and containers that Scott's crew used during meals

pphilfran
1/18/2011, 07:44 AM
You post good stuff....thanks!

texaspokieokie
1/18/2011, 10:52 AM
you sure do !!!!!!

soonerbrat
1/18/2011, 11:13 AM
Last journal Entry:

"Since the 21st we have had a continuous gale from W.S.W. and S.W. We had fuel to make two cups of tea apiece and bare food for two days on the 20th. Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.

It seems a pity but I do not think I can write more."

SunnySooner
1/18/2011, 11:36 AM
Wow, what a life, amazing pics. And "Falcon" is a cool *** name, I don't care if he was second.

TUSooner
1/18/2011, 11:41 AM
great, sad story

soonerbrat
1/18/2011, 11:46 AM
.

C&CDean
1/18/2011, 01:09 PM
And all this time I thought an Amurican had gotten there first.