Monthly Archives: December 2009

Solstice at 75°S

I just received this picture from Dome C showing the solstice on December 21st, 2009.

(Dome C – Temp=-30.6°C WindChill=-44°C RH=71% P=644.3hPa Wind=5.5m/s W)

Camels in the ice

All my picture about Antarctica (more than 1000) are “old” color slides and so I asked for some digital ones to a friend who was “in Ice” last year.

Here are the Ice Camels of Concordia Base (normaly called Dome C) located at an altitude of 3,233 m above sea level on the Antarctic Plateau ( 75°06′ S – 123°21’E). It is a base jointly operated bu Italy and France located inland 1,100 km inland from the French research station at Dumond D’Urville and 1,200 km inland from the Italian Zucchelli station at Baia Terranova. The Russian base Vostock is 560 km away while Casey Station (Australia) is 1100 km away.

Between icebergs

A new picture from Ice…

I was on the roof of the main deck of the French Icebreaker L’Astrolabe routing South to Dumond D’Urville base.

I was about 10-12 meter above the sea level and icebergs (the emerging part) were much more higher than 30-50 meters!

December 14th, 1911

December 14th, 1911

On December 14th, 1911 Roald Amundsen with  Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting becomes the first to reach South Pole.

The expedition arrived at the eastern edge of Ross Ice Shelf at a large inlet called the Bay of Whales on January 14, 1911 where Amundsen located his base camp and named it Framheim.

Using a route along the previously unknown   Axel Heinerg Glacier they arrived at the edge of the Polar Plateau on November 21 after a four-day climb. On December 14, 1911, the team of six, with 16 dogs, arrived at the Pole (90°00’S). They arrived 35 days before Scott’s group. Amundsen named their South Pole camp Polheim (Home on the Pole). Amundsen renamed the Antactic Plateau as King Haakon VII’s Plateau. They left a small tent and letter stating their accomplishment, in case they did not return safely to Framheim. The team returned to Framheim on January 25, 1912, with 11 dogs. Amundsen’s success was publicly announced on March 7, 1912, when he arrived at Hobart, Australia.

Amundsen’s expedition benefited from careful preparation, good equipment, appropriate clothing, a simple primary task (Amundsen did no surveying on his route south and is known to have taken only two photographs), an understanding of dogs and their handling, and the effective use of skis. In contrast to the misfortunes of Scott’s team, the Amundsen’s trek proved rather smooth and uneventful.

In Amundsen’s own words:

“I may say that this is the greatest factor — the way in which the expedition is equipped — the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.”

–from The South Pole, by Roald Amundsen.

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Looking Icebergs

An evening in Dumont D’Urville looking at icebergs after a catabatic storm (wind blowing up to 100 km/h)

Amerigo Vespucci

Phare de Ploumanch

Phare de Ploumanch – Lady Lazer_One

(Watercolor 30 x 25 cm)