Preparation Is the Key to Success

The race was on.

It was the early twentieth century, and the world was running out of places to explore. Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer, was determined to be the first to reach the South Pole.

He wasn’t the only one. Robert Scott, a British naval officer, was also preparing his team to reach the southernmost point of the Earth.

Previously, Amundsen’s initial goal was to become the first person to reach the North Pole. But when he heard that American explorer Robert Peary was leading an expedition to the Arctic, Amundsen swiftly changed plans and set his sights on Antarctica.

He kept his plans a secret, leading the public and even his own team to believe that he was still heading to the North Pole. Amundsen feared that if the media and government knew his plans, it would hurt his chances of success.

It was only after the ship took off on June 3, 1910 from Oslo that he announced his plans publicly. Scott and his crew followed shortly after from Cardiff on June 15.

Born in 1872, Amundsen came from a line of shipowners and captains. He began pursuing his lifelong dream of exploring the wilderness by joining the Belgian Antarctic Expedition in 1897, where he first experienced winter in Antarctica.

He later led an expedition to the Northwest Passage, where Amundsen and his crew learned survival skills from the local Intuit people for two years. This would later prove invaluable for his South Pole expedition.