The Return Trek from the South Pole

  • Mary R. Tahan


The beginning of the return journey from the South Pole is documented and analyzed in this chapter, including the planned further reduction of sled dogs on this return leg, Roald Amundsen’s rationale for the killings, and the feeding of these felled dogs to the remaining sled dogs. Facts and events include the order and formation of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition’s two sledge teams, two skiers, and forerunner; the number of miles covered per day; the slaughtering of Amundsen’s favorite dog and the contradictory reasoning given by Amundsen and some of his men for the dog’s killing; Amundsen’s calculations regarding wearing down the dogs, eliminating the weakest, and keeping the strongest alive to pull the caravan; Christmas Day at depot 88° 25′; daily nonstop runs of 15 nautical miles in high altitude; the sighting of the mountains; the exiting of the Polar plateau on December 29, 1911, at 87° 40′; and Amundsen’s management of food rations – increasing them for the men and decreasing them for the dogs.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary R. Tahan
    • 1
  1. 1.VancouverCanada

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