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In December 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872–1928) became the first person to reach the South Pole. Aboard the ship Maud, Amundsen and his crew set sail from Oslo, Norway, for the South Pole in September 1910. As it turned out, Amundsen was in a race to reach the South Pole with the crew of English captain Robert Falcon Scott (1868–1912). Amundsen and his crew landed on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, on February 10, 1911. Using dogsleds, Amundsen and his party of nineteen men traveled 600 miles (965 kilometers) over the ice to the South Pole, where they planted the Norwegian flag. Scott and his crew took a different route and arrived at the South Pole a month after the Norwegian team. While Amundsen and his companions were able to return safely to their base camp on the Ross Ice Shelf, Scott's party perished in bad weather on the return trip across the ice.
Further Information: Mason, Anthony. Peary and Amundsen: Race to the Poles. Austin, Tex.: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1995; Ryne, Linn. Roald Amundsen. [Online] Available http://www.mnc.net/norway/roald.html, October 22, 2000; Scheller, William. The World's Greatest Explorers. Minneapolis, Minn.: Oliver Press, 1992, pp. 133–44.
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