100 years ago today the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his party were the first to reach the South Pole. The irony is he had his heart set on the North Pole, but Robert Peary got to the North Pole first in April of 1910. So, Amundsen cast about and decided to be the first to the South Pole. In doing so Amundsen dashed the hopes of Sir Robert Scott. Who arrived at the South Pole 33 days later on January 17th. Sir Scott’s party all died on the return trip to the coast. Adventurers were hard core then.
I think Amundsen would freak completely out out if he could see the South Pole today. There is an elevated station with a galley (and ice cream), a gift shop, a full size basketball court, a computer lab with internet, a sauna, an arts and crafts room, a weight room, an elevator, and oddly enough- at the bottom of the beer can -which is a metal casing that protects the outside stairs- Amundsen’s head is lolling around.
Actually it is an insulated ice mold of Amundsen’s head that is propped up with a few rolls of black duct tape and a cargo strap, but it lolled around the other day when we used the elevator and the vibrations made it fall over. Perhaps almost 200 people eating ice cream and buying shot glasses in the gift shop wouldn’t perturb Amundsen, but his disembodied ice head lolling around definitely would.