January 16, 2011

Monday, 16 January 1911


East Greenland dog sledding. Photo by Derek Reay. [1]

Because of his earlier experience on the Gjøa in the Northwest Passage, Amundsen had been using the Alaskan style of dog harness, with the dogs attached in pairs to a central trace. These dogs, however, had been trained in the Greenland style, spreading out in a fan shape from a central attachment, and the Norwegians soon realised that this was the reason for their problems the day before.

Together with Johansen, Hassel, and Wisting, Amundsen returned to the ship to alter the dogs' harnesses. "With the help of the ship's party," he noted in his diary, "we were able to make 46 traces in the course of an afternoon, or full equipment for the 4 teams we can use at the moment. That was the splendid result, and a good proof of what co-operation can do." [2]

[1] Greenland Explored.
[2] Roald Amundsen, diary, 17 January, 1911, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.339.

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