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A comparison of amundsens and scotts expeditions to antarctica

The outcomes of the two expeditions were as follows. Priority at the South Pole: Amundsen beat Scott to the South Pole by 34 days. Scott lost five men including himself returning from the pole, out of a team of 65. Amundsen's entire team of 19 returned to Norway safely. Some authors including Huntford and Fiennes associate up to two further deaths the drowning of Robert Brissenden and the suicide of Hjalmar Johansen with the two expeditions, but these happened outside the Antarctic Circle.

Historically, several factors have been discussed and many contributing factors claimed, [1] including: Priority at the pole: Scott wrote that Amundsen's dogs seriously threatened his own polar aspirations, because dogs, being more cold-tolerant than ponies, would be able to start earlier in the season than Scott's mixed transport of dogs, ponies, and motors. Among several other factors, he surmised that the rations of Scott's team were inadequate and did not provide enough energy for the men.

Their relatively small hooves and a comparison of amundsens and scotts expeditions to antarctica weight caused them to sink into anything other than very firm snow or ice. Oates was opposed to snow-shoes and had left most of them at base camp. Ponies' coats easily became soaked with perspiration during exertion, thus necessitating constant attention with blankets to avoid hypothermia through evaporation.

Dogs in contrast do not have sweat glands—they cool themselves via panting, making them less vulnerable to the cold. With ponies, Scott acknowledged he could not depart until 1 November 1911 when the weather would be warmer, leaving him less time to complete the journey. The loss of ponies, several of which had drowned on disintegrating sea-ice, limited the supplies that could be hauled to the depots.

Of 19 ponies brought south to aid in laying depots on the Ross Ice Shelf traversed during the first and final quarters of the trek nine were lost before the journey began.

Further, unlike dogs which could eat the abundant seal and penguin meat found in Antarctica, the ponies' food had to be carried forward from the ship, vastly increasing the stores that had to be transported as Scott's expedition moved towards the pole. The last-minute addition of Lieutenant Henry R. Bowers to the planned four-man pole party may have strained the rationing plan, although the death of Petty Officer Evans weeks later reduced the party to four again.

The rations were deficient in B and C vitamins. I wonder if we can do it.

  • That is why he wrote those words;
  • On 17 February, Scott found "the poor man… on his knees with clothing disarranged, hands uncovered and frostbitten, and a wild look in his eyes.

Shortage of fuel to melt water likely caused the men to become a comparison of amundsens and scotts expeditions to antarctica. Apparently the heat of the sun had vaporised part of the fuel, enabling it to escape past the cork stoppers.

Amundsen knew about this "creep", and had had the fuel tins soldered shut on the voyage to Antarctica, see below. The weather on the return march seems to have been unusually bad. In particular, when the party reached the Great Ice Barrier, the temperature was much lower than expected for the season, making the surface much less suitable for the sledge runners.

Furthermore, the tailwind which they had expected to aid them home did not appear. Scott wrote, in his final "Message to the Public": It depended in part on motor-sledges, ponies, dogs, and southerly winds to assist the sledges which were fitted with sails.

Half of the distance was intended to be covered by man-hauling and sails whenever conditions permitted. Scott's daily marches were limited to the endurance of the slowest team, the man-haulers who were instructed to advance 15 miles a day.

The ponies marched by night and rested when the sun was warmer, Meares remained idle in camp with the much faster dogs for many hours, before catching up at the end of the day. However, Scott relied chiefly on man-hauling in 1911—12 because ponies could not ascend the glacier midway to the Pole. The Norwegians correctly estimated that dog teams could go all the way.

Comparison of the Amundsen and Scott Expeditions

Furthermore, they used a simple plan, based on their native skill with skis and on dog-driving methods that were tried and true. In a similar fashion to the way the moon was reached by expending a succession of rocket stages and then casting each aside; the Norwegians used the same strategy, sacrificing the weaker animals along the journey to feed the other animals and the men themselves.

Scott and his team knew the expedition would be judged on his attainment of the pole "The. He was prepared to make a second attempt the following year 1912—13 if this attempt failed and had Indian Army mules and additional dogs delivered in anticipation.

Oh no, there

In fact the mules were used by the team that discovered the dead bodies of Scott, Henry Robertson Bowersand Edward Adrian Wilson in November 1912, but proved even less useful than the ponies, according to Cherry-Garrard.

Amundsen's expedition was planned to reach the South Pole. This was a plan he conceived in 1909. Amundsen had deduced that, as the Trans-Antarctic Mountains ran northwest to southeast then if he were to meet a mountain range on his route then the time spent at the high altitude of the Antarctic plateau would be less than Scott's.

He had based his previous expedition in the same area. However, he knew it to be poor as a route to the pole as he had to start before sea ice melted and had suffered delay in returning while waiting for the sea ice to freeze.

They also had to make detours around Ross Island and its known crevassed areas which meant a longer journey. The crossing of the Ross Ice Shelf was an onerous task for the ponies. Scott had advanced considerable stores across the ice shelf the year before to allow the ponies to carry lighter loads over the early passage across the ice. Even so, he had to delay the departure of the ponies until 1 November rather than 24 October when the dogs and motor sledges set off.

In fact Scott took dogs, ponies and three "motor sledges". A comparison of amundsens and scotts expeditions to antarctica spent nearly seven times the amount of money on his motor sledges than on the dogs and horses combined.

They were therefore a vital part of the expedition.

Different Approaches to Antarctic Exploration

Unfortunately, Scott decided to leave behind the engineer, Lieutenant Commander Reginald William Skelton [11] who had created and trialled the motor sledges. This was due to the selection of Lieutenant E.

As Evans was junior in rank to Skelton, he insisted that Skelton could not come on the expedition. The two remaining motor sledges failed relatively early in the main expedition because of repeated faults. Skelton's experience might have been valuable in overcoming the failures.

  • They never met, despite Scott's attempt to make contact with Amundsen when he visited Christiania modern-day Oslo in 1910;
  • Eggs from more than half of the world's 10,000 bird species are stored here, from giant specimens provided by ostriches to tiny hummingbird eggs;
  • Amundsen had experienced man-hauling sledges in the Arctic and did not want to repeat this experience;
  • Then a blizzard struck and stopped them moving on;
  • Amundsen and his men were sickened by such butchery but they knew it was key to survival.

On that journey, Scott, Shackleton, and Wilson started with three sledges and 13 dogs. But on that expedition, the men had not properly understood how to travel on snow with the use of dogs. The party had skis but were too inexperienced to make good use of them. The Discovery expedition had to increase their loads to slow the dogs down. Scott planned to use ponies only to the base of the Beardmore Glacier one-quarter of the total journey and man-haul the rest of the journey.

Scott's team had developed snow shoes for his ponies, and trials showed they could significantly increase daily progress. However, Lawrence Oateswhom Scott had made responsible for the ponies, was reluctant to use the snow shoes and Scott failed to insist on their use. Moreover, Scott ignored the direct advice he received while attending trials of the motor sledges in Norway from Nansen, the most famous explorer of the day, who told Scott to take "dogs, dogs and more dogs".

To appreciate this is a matter of simple arithmetic'. He recruited experienced dog drivers. To make the most of the dogs he paced them and deliberately kept daily mileages shorter than he need have for 75 percent of the journey, [19] and his team spent up to 16 hours a day resting.

His dogs could eat seals and penguins hunted in the Antarctic while Scott's pony fodder had to be brought all the way from England in their ship. It a comparison of amundsens and scotts expeditions to antarctica been later shown that seal meat with the blubber attached is the ideal food for a sledge dog. Amundsen went with 52 dogs, and came back with 11. Gran possibly because he was Norwegian was not included in the South Pole party, which could have made a difference.

Scott would subsequently complain in his diary, while well into his journey and therefore too late to take any corrective action and after over 10 years since the Discovery expedition, that "Skis are the thing, and here are my tiresome fellow countrymen too prejudiced to have prepared themselves for the event".

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He also recruited a champion skier, Olav Bjaalandas the front runner. The Amundsen party gained weight on their return travel from the South Pole. Weather conditions[ edit ] Scott and Shackleton's experience in 1903 and 1907 gave them first-hand experience of average conditions in Antarctica.

SimpsonScott's meteorologist 1910—1912, charted the weather during their expedition, often taking two readings a day. On their return to the Ross Ice Shelf, Scott's group experienced prolonged low temperatures from 27 February until 10 March which have only been matched once in 15 years of current records.

This was a serious position as they were short of fuel and food. But while there is evidence to support the low temperatures, there is only evidence for a "normal" two- to four-day blizzard, and not the ten days that Scott claims. He added to this by using food containers painted black, resulting in a marker every mile.

Each depot laid out up to 85 degrees laid out every degree of latitude had a line of bamboo flags laid out transversely every half-mile for five miles on either side of the depot, ensuring that the returning party could locate the designated depot. Scott relied on depots much less frequently laid out.

For one distance where Amundsen laid seven depots, Scott laid only two. Routes were marked by the walls made at lunch and evening stops to protect the ponies. Depots had a single flag. As a result, Scott has much concern recorded in his diaries over route finding, and experienced close calls about finding depots.

With better depot and route marking they would have been able to travel on more days with a following wind which would have filled the sail attached to their sledge, and so travel further, and might have reached safety. Food and fuel[ edit ] By the time they arrived at the pole, the health of Scott's team had significantly deteriorated, whereas Amundsen's team actually gained weight during the expedition.

While Scott's team managed to maintain the scheduled pace for most of the return leg, and hence was virtually always on full rations, their condition continued to worsen rapidly. The only delay occurred when they were held for four days by a blizzard, and had to open their summit rations early as a consequence.

The British team had to abort their tour due to the severe weight loss a comparison of amundsens and scotts expeditions to antarctica all members.

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Scott's calculations for the supply requirements were based on a number of expeditions, both by members of his team e. Apparently, Scott didn't take the strain of prolonged man-hauling at high altitudes sufficiently into account.

Since the rations contained no B and C vitaminsthe only source of these vitamins during the trek was from the slaughter of ponies or dogs.

  • Unlike the British party, the Norwegians took wolf-skin fur suits, adapted from Inuit clothing, in addition to the windproof Burberry suits they wore, made of a lighter gabardine material;
  • Scott's death, in the context of the mass-scale slaughter of World War One soon afterwards, put him beyond immediate criticism;
  • The men took turns falling into crevasses;
  • Since the rations contained no B and C vitamins , the only source of these vitamins during the trek was from the slaughter of ponies or dogs;
  • Four days after the news arrived, a memorial service was held at St Paul's, attended by the King, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the elite of British society.

This made the men progressively malnourished, manifested most clearly in the form of scurvy. This was a phenomenon that had been noticed previously by other expeditions, but Scott took no measures to prevent it. Amundsen, in contrast, had learned the lesson and had his fuel cans soldered closed. A fuel depot he left on Betty's Knoll was found 50 years later still full.