November 10, 2011

Friday, 10 November 1911


In the distance over the horizon ahead, they could now see the peaks of a high mountain range. Later, Amundsen called it the Queen Maud Range. It was his first undoubted discovery, but at the time he merely sketched them in his notebook with the labels A, B, C, D, and so on, adding laconically, "A climb will apparently be unavoidable." [1]

Back in King Edward VII Land, Prestrud's party came in sight of the two cairns from the previous journey.

"We made straight for them, thinking we might possibly find some trace of the southern party. So we did, though in a very different way from what we expected. We were, perhaps, about a mile off when we all three suddenly halted and stared at the huts. 'There are men,' said Stubberud. At any rate there was something black that moved, and after confused thoughts of Japanese, Englishmen, and the like had flashed through our minds, we at last got out the glasses. It was not men, but a dog. Well, the presence of a live dog here, seventy-five miles up the Barrier, was in itself a remarkable thing. It must, of course, be one of the southern party’s dogs, but how the runaway had kept himself alive all that time was for the present a mystery. On coming to closer quarters we soon found that it was one of Hassel’s dogs, Peary by name. He was a little shy to begin with, but when he heard his name he quickly understood that we were friends come on a visit, and no longer hesitated to approach us. He was fat and round, and evidently pleased to see us again." [2]


[1] Roald Amundsen, diary, 11 November, 1911, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.438.
[2] Kristian Prestrud, "The Eastern Sledge Journey", in Roald Amundsen's The South Pole, ch.15. Note that the date is given as 11th November; see Hinks' note on dates in "The Observations of Amundsen and Scott at the South Pole" (The Geographical Journal, April 1944, p.169).

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