Oct 25, 2011

Racing To the Poles 4

While the canon of polar exploration is dominated by names like Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton, and Robert Peary, many of the best chapters have been written by Scandinavians like Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen. In recent years, other modern-day Vikings who remain relatively unknown on this side of the Atlantic have pulled off trips worthy of their own sagas. Take Borge Ousland, the first person to make a solo traverse of Antartica without the support of airplanes, dog teams, or mechanized vehicles.

During the austral summer of 1996-97, Ousland skied 1,768 miles from Berkner Island in the Weddell Sea to McMurdo Sound. The Norwegian purposely avoided the succor of America’s South Pole base: “It was dangerous to go in because it would break me down mentally,” “All the things I was longing for were in there. If I had taken them, I would have become ‘house-warm,’ as we say in Norway, and never left again.”

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-source Adventure magazine

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