Race For The South Pole (1909-12)
By August of 1910, Amundsen was ready to make his own attempt to reach the South Pole, although all the world thought he was headed in the complete opposite direction. He had secretly ruled out attempting to reach the North Pole, because Americans Robert Peary and Frederick Cook had already laid claim to that feat.
Amundsen even kept his plans for a South Pole expedition a secret from officials within the Norwegian government. He feared that government officials would be hesitant to challenge Great Britain, upon whom they were highly dependent, in a race to the Pole.
It was not until Amundsen’s ship, “Fram”, was well off the coast of Morocco that he announced to his crew that they were headed for the South, not the North, Pole.
Robert F. Scott
Despite Scott’s efforts to find financial support for the mission, there was barely enough money to pay the crew and fuel the ship when the time came to get underway. The biggest discouragement of all, however, was a telegram that awaited him when Terra Nova stopped in Melbourne. It was sent by Roald Amundsen to inform Scott that the Norwegian had changed his plans and was heading south. The expedition had become a race, and Terra Nova got off to a slow start.
When Amundsen’s startling cable reached him, Scott became deeply distressed, though he worked hard not to show it. He had watched Shackleton come close to snatching what he regarded as his prize, and now a dangerous new threat had arisen.