The Search for the Devil’s Depot

  • Mary R. Tahan


An account of the final leg of the return journey from the South Pole to the Great Ice Barrier is featured in this chapter, with details given regarding Roald Amundsen’s first route miscalculation, the resulting near disaster for the party, and the dogs’ saving of the expedition. The narrative includes the continued execution of strategy to reduce the number of sled dogs, the shorter route taken and the subsequent missing of a crucial food depot, the dogs’ grueling backtrack journey to retrieve the depot for the party, the retrieval of dog carcasses at Butcher’s Shop, the descent of 5000 feet below the Polar plateau at breakneck velocity, the reaching of the main depot, and an unexpected illness which necessitates action and upends Amundsen’s final plan regarding the dogs. The returning sled dogs are named and identified in this chapter. An analysis of the strategic decreasing of the number of dogs is also undertaken in this text, with facts given regarding the necessity versus the expediency of these killings, in light of Amundsen’s stated goal.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

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

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