Posts Tagged ‘South Pole’

Hornorkesteret to perform at celebration of the conquest of The South Pole on Dec. 14th

November 28, 2011

Hornorkesteret will be performing in the pavillion in the Church Park in downtown Fredrikstad on December 14th in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the conquest of The South Pole, www.nansenamundsen.no reports.

In addition to the concert by Hornorkesteret, the celebration will contain live streaming audio from Antarctica with interactions from ambient musician Origami Antarktika, 17 sled dogs and sleds, free warm drinks, the animated short film “Fram og tilbake” about Roald Amundsen made at E6 Østfold Medieverksted with music by Hornorkesteret and the world premiere of Hornorkesterets epic song honouring Roald Amundsens achievements, “Roaldskvadet”.

Fjær og JernAlso, the long awaited CD “Fjær og Jern” is released on this glorious day, and Hornorkesteret will perform several tracks from the album live.

Born at Tomta in Borge just outside of Fredrikstad, Amundsen was the first man to reach both the South and the North Poles, and on December 14th 1911, he and his men planted the norwegian flag on the pole after a meticulously planned and executed operation. From his early days, he dreamt about becoming a polar explorer. Reading about the horrors Sir John Franklin and his men met while trying to navigate the North West Passage and reading about Fridtjof Nansen crossing Greenland on skis, inspired the young Amundsen to become a hero. Amundsen grew up in a shipping family and he had heard tales of faraway worlds since he was child. Nothing fascinated him more than ice and snow. He would sleep with his window open all year round to toughen himself to become a polar explorer.

Later, he would be part of the first expedition to spend the winter in the Antarctic with the Belgica, navigate the North West Passage as the first man on earth in 1906, use dogsleds for the South Pole in 1911, become an aviation pioneer, almost perish with two planes in the arctic in 1925 and finally cross the whole polar ocean of the Arctic in the italian-built dirigible “Norge” in 1926. Amundsen disappeared in June 1928 on a rescue mission to save his by then bitter enemy, Umberto Nobile, who had crashlanded with his new dirigible, the Italia.

Amundsens life  is something to celebrate! Bring the kids -this is a fun family event. Wear something warm.

17:30 – 18:00:
Live streaming sounds from the PALAOA Antarctic base
Mixed by Origami Antarktika – Ambient music
Serving of boullion and other hot drinks
Tents with polar stories
Dogsled riding/meet the dogs presented by Kennel Nairebis and their Siberian Huskys

18:00:
Opening speech

18:05:
World premiere of the epic hero song “Roaldskvadet” by Hornorkesteret

18:15:
Animated short: “Fram og tilbake” produced at E6 Østfold Medieverksted

18:30:
Concert with Hornorkesteret, The Norwegian Polar Orchestra

19:00:
Release of CD “Fjær og Jern” by Hornorkesteret

19:15 – 19:45:
Live streaming sounds from the PALAOA Antarctic base
Mixed by Origami Antarktika – Ambient music
Serving of boullion and other hot drinks
Tents with polar stories
Dogsled riding/meet the dogs presented by Kennel Nairebis and their Siberian Huskys

The event is listed on the official Nansen-Amundsen website:
http://www.nansenamundsen.no/no/events/des/jubileumskonsert-hornorkesteret.html

The event page on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=125153107592524

Hornorkesterets web page:
http://hornorkesteret.no

The event is made in collaboration with Visit Fredrikstad and Kennel Nairebis.

Invasive Species Carried Steadily in the Antarctic

May 9, 2011

Softpedia news, April 29th, 2011 – original article here

Antarctica was until recently the most pristine continent in the world, but that situation is currently changing. Research scientists, tourists, and just about anyone who sets foot around the South Pole, are carrying bacteria and other organisms that are not indigenous to this area.

For all intents and purposes, we are promoting an invasion that could see the establishing of new species in this clean habitat. While the harsh conditions in Antarctica will take care of most intruders, there are those that will undoubtedly survive.

Some microorganisms are known for being able to survive in space for prolonged periods of time, so they can surely endure in a bit of ice, scientists say. The same holds true for plant seeds that are being involuntarily and steadily carried on the Southern Continent.

 The main risk with invasive species is that they tend to overtake a new habitat by killing off indigenous species. The latter spent millions of years adapting to their environment, and achieving an ecosystemic balance, only to have it all taken away by opportunistic organisms.

“We are still at the stage when Antarctica has fewer than 10 non-native species, none of which have become invasive. Unless we take steps now to minimize the risk of introduction, who knows what will happen,” says expert Kevin Hughes.

The investigator, who holds an appointment as an environmental scientist at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), analyzed some 11,250 pieces of fresh produce in a new study. Together with colleagues, he was trying to determine how many new organisms make their way in the Antarctic via this route.

Experts found 56 invertebrates, which included aphids, butterflies, spiders and snails. Large amounts of soil were discovered on many produce, and more than a quarter of all were rotten due to microbes.

“Are these numbers surprising, or does it mean this is likely to be a problem? It’s pretty hard to say,” comments Daniel Simberloff, an expert who was not a part of the new research.

“The upshot is that there’s just enough people going to some parts of Antarctica nowadays that lots of organisms are carried there,” adds the scientist, who is a professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

“I have to think this isn’t good, and some subset of them are going to pose environmental problems,” he goes on to say, quoted by LiveScience.

“To be quite honest, the only way we are going to stop the introduction of nonnative species is to stop going to Antarctica, to cut off all the pathways. What we can do is try and minimize the risk of introduction and we can do that by relatively simple steps,” Hughes adds further.

Berserk tragedy: Interview with Jarle Andhøy

March 23, 2011

Posted: Mar 23, 2011 04:47 am EDT -Original article here

(By Jon Amtrup) Jarle Andhøy, the expedition leader for the Berserk that most likely was sunk in the Ross Sea in February, has returned to Norway. Three of his crew are lost and presumed dead, and Andhøy is planning to return to the area for a flower ceremony. ExWeb has interviewed him about the tragic events.

Andhøy has been subject for massive criticisms for his sailing trip to one of the most remote and harsh seas in the world. He was going to celebrate the famed Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen by making an ATV trip to the South Pole point, but he will not answer if he actually reached the South Pole. He hasn’t commented on ExWeb question about when and where his documentary will be aired.

ExWeb:What do you think happen to the Berserk?

Andhøy: I don’t know. I still collect information and facts around the accident.

ExWeb:You had two daily calls with the crew when you where heading for the South Pole. What did you discuss in the last call?

Andhøy: We were on our way to the coast when I received last sms from them “All good. Boat shipshape and we are now leaving horseshoe Bay… contact us when you can”

ExWeb:How did you research the area and who did you speak to before you left for the Ross Sea?

Andhøy: I spoke to various old school whalers from Vestfold. Mostly Lars Henriksen a Norwegian whaling pilot from Sandefjord. I also had some email correspondence with some cruise ships in the area. The Bible in the area is certainly The English admiralty sailing directions 9 th edition.

ExWeb:Why do you thing people like Skip Novak and Don McIntyre don’t recommend ordinary sailing vessels to enter the Ross Sea?

Andhøy: “Berserk” is not a ordinary sailing vessel, but a expedition vessel And I share some of their statements about the weather and area, but stay to the facts about this expedition. I never spoke with either one of them.
I know that Don was copied on some email correspondence which I had with captain Mike on the Orion. Surprising for me that these respectable guys want to get a few moments of fame in this tragedy. Especially since the lost seamen cannot defend themselves from the project criticism based on their own guesses about it.

ExWeb: How did you come to the conclusion that sailing and leaving the crew and boat in the Ross Sea was a risk worth taking?

Andhøy: It was the best time of the season ice wise and I left the boat in the hands of a captain I trust and with good seamen on board. They knew the boat very well and had a good anchor area where they could hide from the wind and weather around Shackeltons hut. (Horse shoe Bay and Backdoor Bay). Life at sea is a risk. In the Ross Sea it’s bigger, but with good preparations, crew and today’s equipment and technology it is a lot easier than for the men who explored the area from James Ross days.

ExWeb: Can you list the sailing, preferably arctic, experience the three on board had?

Andhøy: The boat captain sailed the North West passage, Otto Sverdrup Islands, and Greenland. Asides he is a experienced charter captain doing deliveries summer and wintertime in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and North sea.
Leonard Banks grew up in a sailing boat with a experienced sailor father from South Africa. He is a skilled surfer and sailor who has been traveling and working as crew around for the last 7 years.
Robert is a professional diver, offshore rig worker and the kind of handyman you really want in a boat. He has been sailing with me on various trips and has been onboard the Berserk the last 12 months.

ExWeb: Did you reach the South Pole point- yes or no? And how do you define The End of the World that you keep speaking about?

Andhøy: You will get both answers by watching television. I can also inform you that getting to the South Pole in 2011 is not very hard compared to Amundsens days.

ExWeb: How did you assess the risk when two of the potential, and experienced expeditioners, withdrew from the trip due to safety concerns?

Andhøy: I dont know where you have that information from and suggest you do some  better research. On this expedition there has been 11 people involved on different levels – some were up to it some were not. A selection was done from my and Captain Bellikas side to collect the best men for the mission.

Editors note: The question related to Gjermund Frostad, a very experienced motorcyclist with Dakar and Dresden-Breslau on his resume, and Tore Sunde-Rasmussen, Mount Everest and 7 summits. Both withdrew from the expeditions according to media reports. Andhøy hasn’t answered this follow up question: I’m talking about Gjermund Frostad (42) and Tore Sunde-Rasmussen who through Norwegian newspapers has stated that they backed out due to safety concerns. Your comment?

ExWeb: How will you handle the upcoming police investigation for lacking SAR and not filing for a sailing permit?

Andhøy: I will face it and answer to all questions. Its some complicated international questions that will come up concerning the treaty. In addition I appreciate that Norwegian officials also will investigate the accident – – What really happened to the “Berserk”? The answer of that has more attention for me. Not whether they had the right papers or not.

ExWeb:Why didn’t you make sure to have the paperwork in place before you left?

Andhøy: We did various research and there are different formalities depending of the country where you process the paperwork and we where answered by more questions than answers.

ExWeb: You have been fined for missing SAR and “talking to a Polar Bear” on Svalbard, arrested and deported from Canada when you tried to sail the Northwest Passage, and are now facing a police investigation for the Antarctic expedition. How will these incidents affect your future?

Andhøy: Time will show.

ExWeb: What is your future plans?
Andhøy: I am sailing back to the Ross Sea to make a proper flower ceremony where my
crewmates are assumed lost.

ExWeb: Anything else?
Andhøy: I appreciate any critics based on facts. The ending of this expedition is nothing but a tragedy for me, the crew mates and the families involved with this project.
Our philosophy is being self-sufficient and managing life as old time seafarers. In order to survive and succeed in remote hostile areas being self-sufficient is the key. All members on board the Berserk was fully aware of the risk and did not want to bother nobody, but ourselves. But the self-sufficiency was breached when my shipmate chose to activate the EBIRB.

Maybe it would have been better to leave it back home as Don McIntyre suggest, but instead I support Captain Gisles decision as he chose to request help near one of the most trafficked areas in Antarctica and the continents SAR centre.

And I wonder what he would have said if we didn’t have the right security equipment onboard?? or has he told that already…

Me and all families of the Berserk crew wish to express our deepest thanks to Paul Watson and the crew on Steve Irwin, HMS Wellington and all parts that have been assisting the search to try to find the lost Berserkers.

US Demolishes Old Antarctic Bases

March 22, 2011

Softpedia. com, March 11th, 2011 – Original article here

Since the American flag was planted at the South Pole, on October 31, 1956, the United States constructed three research facilities in Antarctica. Recently, two of them were demolished, and the only structure remaining is a high-tech, latest-generation lab that is perched on stilts.

[I have to add here that the Norwegian flag was planted on the South Pole on December 14th 1911, 45 years before the Americans… and 100 years ago this year. Hornfar]

Image showing the destruction of the Old Pole station. Image credits: Robert Schwarz

For the past 55 years, the US has had a constant presence at the South Pole in terms of science. Its stations were ahead of their time as far as the engineering complexity and technology needed to build them went.

But, with the construction of the new facility, it became clear that there was simply too much effort to manage the separate stations, when a single, advanced one was enough. The costs of maintaining a crew in the Antarctic are very steep, and researchers often deal with lack of appropriate funding.

The Dome Station was disassembled in 2010. The US Antarctic Program had made the announcement some time before, mentioning that the structure had far outlived its shelf life, and that it was becoming a menace for people venturing within.

During this season’s austral summer, construction workers also demolished the original Antarctic station (the Old Pole), which was built for the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58.

“It took a lot of effort and a lot of people. But we got it done in a timely fashion,” says of the effort Andres Martinez, who is the South Pole Technical Support manager. He is now based in the new research station, which isn’t actually new, since it was opened in January 2008.

He explains that the first South Pole Station remained occupied for nearly 20 years, even if it was put together hastily, and was buried by Mother Nature under feet of snow. The ice that subsequently formed endangered its crew constantly, and maintenance work needed to be conducted at all times.

“The old station, no longer the object of structural or mechanical improvements, gamely carried on. It showed its years in the distortion of buildings, metal arches, and shoring timbers,” wrote Dick Wolak.

“Its generators were a constant problem, and often irregular in their output. The patchwork of devices used to heat buildings and provide water was notably inefficient in its use of costly diesel fuel.” he added.

The expert was the civilian South Pole Station manager between 1974 and 1975, as researchers were in a period of transition between the Old Pole station and the then-new Dome Station.

Following a series of accidents involving heavy equipment falling through the unstable ices covering the Old Pole station, the US National Science Foundation decided to implode it during the austral summer.

The support beams that held the structure together were blown up, and snow is now forming new ice where researchers worked nearly 20 years for unraveling the mysteries surrounding the Antarctic, SpaceRef reports.

South Pole web camera

February 4, 2011

USAP has a web camera at the South Pole.

Current Weather
02/02/2011
12:46:00 GMT
Temperature
-30.6°C   -23.1°F
WindChill
-40.0°C   -40.0°F

Proposal for a Monument to Roald Amundsen at Microgaleria Sur, Canary Islands

December 13, 2010


Hornorkesteret’s Jonas Qvale made a proposal for a “National Monument to Roald Amundsen” in a contest earlier this year (he has a background in visual arts). A fund collected after Amundsens disappearence back in 1928 was now seeking proposals for a worthy monument to the world’s greatest polar hero. The entries were juried and later exhibited at the Fram Museum. Qvales proposal was not chosen, but he is still looking for financing and a place for this monument.

“Roald Amundsens Verden” (Roald Amundsen’s world) shows what could have been “Amundsens view of the world”, with an exaggerated emphasis on the polar regions, shrinking the continents except Antarctica to a narrow band around the planet’s waist. The continents would be polished Iddefjord granite with rougher surfaces on oceans. The ice caps would be inlaid and slightly raised in Rennebu ice green granite. Amundsens main expeditions would be carved and painted as red dotted lines crisscrossing the globe.

Rather than as a stone monument at Bygdøynes outside of Oslo, the work “Roald Amundsens Verden” is now being presented in styrofoam and papier maché as a miniature at the origami republika run MICROGALERIA SUR in San Fernando, Gran Canaria, Spain. Thanks to Tore H. Boe for running both the gallery and the republika, you are an inspiration to a lot of people!


The exhibition opened December 14th 2010, on the 99th anniversary of the conquest of the South Pole. At the modest but festive vernissage, the Norwegian emissiaries met with the directors and local MICROGALERIA SUR staff and officially unveiled the Amundsen monument proposal as well as additional rooms with fascinating miniature art by fellow Origami artists Origami Kanaria A195/A242, Jens Stegger Ledaal A178,  Origami Boe A22, and Magne Rudjord A286. See all of it here.

We are still seeking funding to realize the piece “Roald Amundsens Verden” in the anniversary year of 2011 -contact us at hornorkesteret@lavabit.com if you can help.

Scott’s 99-year-old Antarctic manuscripts found

August 12, 2010

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 6:29p.m.

By Hamish Clark

A 99-year-old manuscript has been discovered detailing captain Robert Falcon Scott’s plans to be the first to reach the South Pole.

The handwritten notes, acquired by Canterbury Museum, are a lecture Mr Scott gave to his men on the ice, setting out the journey to the pole.

Hand bound in royal blue, captain Robert Scott’s plans for his southern journey to the pole were thought to have been lost forever.

“It was really amazing the first time I got to read it and see and feel the paper and you can smell the tobacco smoke,” manuscript curator Joanna Condon says.

Mr Scott loved his pipe and loved to write inside his hut at Antarctica.

The eleven page document dating back 99 years was discovered in a London bookstore.

It reveals new details of what Mr Scott thought he needed to be the first to the pole.

“This lecture is the one everyone was interested in because it was about the pole journey and everyone wanted to know what his plans were and maybe whether they would be included,” Ms Condon says.

Mr Scott set off for the pole in November 1910, only to find Norway’s Roald Amundsen got there a month before him.

Mr Scott and his remaining team of four perished on their return.

Mr Scott’s flag was found by his body, and it is also on display at the museum as part of the royal collection for the museum’s Antarctic exhibition.

Also on display are the original photos taken during Mr Scott’s and Shackleton’s expeditions – that have never before left the royal family.

“This is a once in a life time experience to see the marriage of the objects with the photos and it is the first time and the only time this will happen,” says Royal Collection co-ordinator Stephen Weber.

Mr Scott’s original manuscript will be on display for the first time in 10 days time and there will also be a digital copy for the public to flick through.

Original article here

Scott of the Antarctic letter goes to auction

June 14, 2010

Scott's Terra Nova expedition party at the south pole, January 1912: (clockwise from top left) Captain Lawrence Oates, Captain Robert Scott, Petty Officer Edgar Evans, Dr Edward Wilson and Lieutenant Henry Robertson Bowers.

The Guardian: Dispatch from Robert Falcon Scott to wife of Edgar Evans arrived months after expedition party had perished.

A poignant letter from Scott of the Antarctic to a colleague’s wife is being sold at auction. The note tells Lois Evans, wife of Edgar, how well he is doing, but did not arrive until months after he had died,.

The note from Robert Falcon Scott says the journey might take longer than originally planned and asks her not to be “anxious or worried”.

But by the time it reached England, Scott, Evans and three others had perished on their return from the pole, having been beaten to it by a rival Norwegian party.

The letter is expected to fetch around £6,000. Scott wrote to Mrs Evans: “Although I have never met you, your husband has told me a great deal about you so that I can imagine that you and the children will be waiting to see him home again next year. He is very well indeed, very strong and in very good condition.”

Dated October 1911, the letter did not arrive until May the following year – weeks after the party had died.

Other letters up for sale include one from Captain Lawrence Oates, who died after leaving the tent, saying he was going outside and “may be some time”.

He wrote to his mother about preparations for the expedition. He had been chosen partly because of his experience with horses. But Scott purchased the horses, used in the laying of stores, and they were not to Oates’s liking. He called them “the greatest lot of crocks I have ever seen”.

The letters are among six being sold by International Autograph Auctions at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Heathrow, on Sunday. Richard Davie, from the auction house, said: “These are a wonderful collection of letters from the expedition.”

Original article here

NYT, Jan. 18. 1910: Sir Clements Markham denies a “Race to the Pole”

January 18, 2010

Full article here

“I am remaining in the Antarctic another Winter in order to continue and complete my work.”

Robert Falcon Scott

The latest news sent back to McMurdo Sound was that Capt. Scott on Jan. 3 and reached a point 150 miles from the South Pole and was still advancing.

In a letter to the Times, written, of course, before the receipt of today’s news, Sir Clements Markham, ex-President of the Royal Geographical Society, attempts to put an end to the popular idea that there has been a race between Capts. Amundsen and Scott. He says:

“As the originator of the antarctic exploration by land in 1893, I am anxious to point out that there has been no race to the pole. All that could be done by ships has been done by Cook, Ross, Biscoe, Ballenz, Dumontz, Durville, and Wilkes. I therefore held that discovery in the antarctic continent must be achieved by land, and that the course was south. I also held that a revision of the discoveries of Ballenz, Durville, and Wilkes was most important.

“The first great work was undertaken by the Royal and the Royal Geographical societies, and the commander was most carefully selected. Scott is the founder of antarctic sledge traveling, the only means by which the work can be done. His expedition was a great and memorable success, but the work in the direction selected could not be completed in one expedition.

“It was always Capt. Scott’s desire to complete the work so admirably commenced as soon as the exigencies of his profession would admit of his sparing the time. He now commands a thoroughly equipped second expedition, the great object of which is to complete his former work, including a journey to the south pole.

“I believe he intended to reach that position at the best time for observations with theodolite, at mid-Summer, and I have no doubt that he has done so. It was part of an admirably conceived scheme of scientific research.

“There was no question of racing or conquering. The grand object was very far from that. It was valuable research in every branch of science.

“Capt. Amundsen’s plan was different. He conceived the idea of making a dash for the south pole without Capt. Scott’s knowledge, and his presence was only found out by the Terra Nova arriving where he landed. Capt. Scott knew nothing about it until his return from his great journey late in the Autumn. His plans were then all matured, and Capt. Amundsen’s scheme, if he had known what it was, would not have affected them in the slightest degree.

“Capt. Scott would, I believe, wish success to my friend Amundsen, as I did, but there was no race.”

Thanks to Elizabeth Plunkett, for spotting this one!