The Amundsen Photographs - Roland Huntford Roland Huntford has written several ‘books on South Pole explorers: Shackleton, Amundsen, and Scott: two very real heroes and one idiot. The great irony is that contemporary society made the idiot the hero! Scott has long been revered in British society as the great explorer, yet Huntford in his fascinating book Scott and Arnundsen shows Scott to be the dilettante bumbler who didn’t plan and made all the wrong decisions. Amundsen, the quiet Norwegian, spent years planning for the trip to the South Pole, experimented in the North, knew exactly what to do, and when finally he made the trip the result was almost anti-clímatic, so easy was it. He had no problems. Scott, on the other hand, disdainfully ignored the experience of the Eskimos, who had long since learned the advantages of using dogs in an arctic environment; Scott took ponies, which of course meant he had to lug along hay for them (dogs, being carnivores can eat each other if food runs short,) and of course lost most of the horses. Scott died on the way back from the Pole having been beaten by Amundsen in the race. Amundsen’s preparations were documented in a series of lantern slides which have been edited by Huntford. They were discovered only recently, having been tucked away in a Norwegian attic since 1915. They provide a. fascinating glimpse into the preparations for and the voyage to the South Pole.

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