The Push to the Plateau: Kjøring Across the Ice Waves
This chapter documents the South Pole party’s path to the base of the Transantarctic Mountains, across giant ice waves and sastrugi. As the sled dogs continue to make impressive progress, they face challenges from lack of food but gain heart from the excitement of the trek. The dogs attempt to course-correct Helmer Hanssen, with surprising results; 84° South is reached; and the mountain range is sighted to begin at a southern degree location that alters Roald Amundsen’s final plan for the dogs. Amundsen relies on the dogs’ senses during blind drives and their strength while crossing undulating terrain. With little food, the dogs pull the party to an altitude of 930 feet above sea level, where they find themselves at the base of Mount Betty. Here Amundsen decides to begin the steep ascent through the mountains, counting completely on the dogs and calculating how many dogs he would use for the entire climb to the top and how many dogs would take him to the Pole and back.
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