Skip navigation

International Glaciological Society

You are in:  Home » IGS blog

International Glaciological Society blog

Reaching the South Pole

These days it is 100 years since Amundsen and Scott and their teammates reached the South Pole. Amundsen on 14 December 1911 and Scott on 17 January 1912. Both were remarkable expeditions albeit very different. Amundsen, the seasoned polar explorer set out with the sole purpose of being the first to reach the South Pole. Scott wanted indeed to be the first to reach the pole as well, but his expedition also included an extensive scientific explorations program. Amundsen reached the pole first and based on their respective experience in polar travel, Scott never really had a chance. But in discussion with British people about the 'Race for the Pole' I find that their tendency is to make excuses for Scott, 'yes his team was second to reach the South Pole but they did so much scientific work'. Why not give priority to the scientific work done by Scott's team, not the fact that he was 'second to reach the South Pole'? Amundsen was better equipped for the 'race to the South Pole' but Scott's scientific work has enough merit to stand on its own in the world of science. Let that be the legacy of Scott's expedition.    Send article as PDF   

Leave a Reply