Robert Scott was determined to reach the South Pole before Amundsen and claim it both for his glory and that of his native England. But Scott made serious miscalculations.
While Amundsen used dogs to pull his sleds, Scott opted for ponies. After leaving his base on October 24, the expedition struggled through a landscape of stone and ice. The Queen Maud mountain range broke sleds and left both the men and animals exhausted.
Within five weeks, the ponies were dead or shot for meat. Then a howling blizzard stopped the expedition, leaving the men huddling in their tents and burning precious fuel.
Finally, in January, Scott and four other men harnessed themselves to a sled and dragged it to the final destination. There they met bitter disappointment. Amundsen’s tent and the Norwegian flag greeted them. “The Norwegians have forestalled us and are the first at the Pole.
It is a terrible disappointment, and I am very sorry for my loyal companions,” wrote Scott in his journal.