National Geographic : 1911 Apr
SOUTH POLAR EXPLORATIONS THREE expeditions, a British, a Japanese, and a Norwegian, will be struggling during the next 12 months to reach the South Pole. Un fortunately for scientific purposes, all three are endeavoring to gain the goal by practically the same route-from the vicinity of Mount Erebus over the great ice barrier, and then up over the great inland plateau. This is the route dis covered by Scott and Shackleton, and over which the latter gained a point within 97 miles of the Pole in 1909 (see map on opposite page). The British expedition is led by Capt. Robert F. Scott, of the Royal Navy, who directed the very successful British party of 1901-'04. Two years were spent in preparations for this last expedition, which left England in June, 1910. The party comprises 60 persons, including a large number of scientists and scientific assistants. They are provisioned for three years, and are using as their head- quarters the same base that was occu pied by Scott, 1901-'04, and by Shackle ton, 1908-'o9. The Terra Nova, which has recently returned after landing Scott's sledge parties, reports that Amundsen, the leader of the Norwegian party, is also camped near by. Amundsen, it will be remembered, had been planning for sev eral years to reach the North Pole by drifting across it. When he left Europe on the Fram in 1910, it was with the announced intention of proceeding around Cape Horn, thence up the Pa cific through Bering Strait into the Arc tic Ocean, where he was to allow his ship to be frozen in the ice. He was provisioned for five years, at the end of which time he expected to have drifted across the North Polar area and to be freed in the vicinity of Iceland or Nor way. But from Madeira Amundsen cabled that he had altered his plans and would spend a year endeavoring to reach SEAL SUCKLING YOUNG AND TAKING NO NOTICE OF THE MOTOR CAR Photo taken on the Great Ice Barrier. From E. H. Shackleton, "The Heart of the Antarctic." J. B. Lippincott Co.