Day 68: Team Amundsen Reaches the South Pole!

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Reflections | Letters from Home | Interactive Map


Win tickets for you and a guest to the Race to the Pole Welcome Home Reception at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace on the 16th of February 2012! All you have to do is make a donation via the page to enter our prize draw. There are two tickets (plus a guest each) up for grabs – the winners will be announced on January 20th 2012.


Distance to the Pole (straight line): 0 nmi
Total distance travelled: 700.7 nmi



In Association with the Royal British Legion

It’s official, after 68 days and 700 nautical miles, Henry and Lou aka the Amundsen team have arrived at the South Pole. In a quick message that precedes a longer valedictory one planned for tomorrow, Henry and Lou share their feelings at having reached 90 degrees south. History has been repeated, as Henry and Lou see no sign of the British flag carried by the Scott team.

It’s a brief message from Henry and Lou, as they prepare for a good rest and a warm meal at the South Pole station. Standby for a longer message tomorrow. Well done, Henry and Lou, job done indeed. Now go get some rest, you’ve certainly earned it.

Can’t see the audio player? Download the audio as an MP3
(Click to open directly or right-click and choose “save target or “save link as”)


Please keep pressing the “play” button to advance to the next slide of the presentation.


Distance to the Pole (straight line): 125 nmi
Total distance travelled: 654.8nmi


Team Scott, unaware of the Amundsen team’s arrival at the Pole, now face a race against time. They may not have beaten Henry and Lou, but they’ve still to reach the Pole by the 17th to mark the Scott Centenary. However, the most important goal of both teams is to raise as much money as possible for the Royal British Legion and the vital work it does in supporting injured members of Britain’s Armed Forces.

It’ll be a tight race to get to the pole for the 17th, but having hit their target distance for today – 15.6 nautical miles – their chances are looking great.

Mark gives a few dieting tips for ladies post-Christmas (we wonder exactly how many lady listeners will follow them), and he reminds us of the final symbolic stage before reaching the Pole – Shackleton’s farthest south point, two days’ march away.

Can’t see the audio player? Download the audio as an MP3
(Click to open directly or right-click and choose “save target or “save link as”)


Please keep pressing the “play” button to advance to the night slide of the presentation.


We give voice to the loved ones of our intrepid adventurers. This week, it’s the turn if Mark’s bestfriend Breff McGovern:

Anyone who has perused the vision page of Marks website from his previous expedition, Solo, will have read Mark’s account of how he was inspired to follow in the footsteps of Captain Scott and his gallant companions. However, he doesn’t mention the fact that I was right by his side.

Sadly for me, whilst Mark read of Scott’s adventures that would eventually see him walking literally in Scott’s footsteps, I was busily defacing the bumper sports book 1977 with my not indistinctive handwriting.

Where would my life have taken me had I been similarly inspired? How was I caught?

John, Breff and Mark enjoy a beer and a cigar. Mark fell asleep shortly after. Click to enlarge

John, Breff and Mark enjoy a beer and a cigar. Mark fell asleep shortly after. Click to enlarge

I first met Mark at school where we both found ourselves sitting at the same desk slap bang in front of the teacher – this was the one for pupils that work well under close supervision. We hit it off immediately and for the rest of our school days our reports would be eerily similar. Mine read ‘’Breffne is a bad influence on Mark’’. Marks read ‘’Mark is a bad influence on Breffne”.

Sorry Ken and Kathy I know we must have driven you insane. Luckily, you’re only aware of a very small proportion of what we got up to!

As well as a lifelong interest in being naughty we also had a shared interest in everything Para and via the Army cadets we found ourselves in the Army.

Now a rather scary 30 or so years since we first met and Mark is about to achieve his boyhood dream. I’m not surprised. He is the most single minded, determined individual you will ever meet.

I look forward to having a beer and one of his cigars when He gets home. I am proud to be his friend.


P.S You owe me a tenner

If you’re a family member or close friend, and would like to send your message out to all the readers, please do email Andrew Gough (webmaster) at


Part 3 – The Conclusion

A series of reflections on Antarctic travels past and present, by Peter Otway. In the early 1960s, Peter surveyed much of the areas through which our teams are now passing. In this, Part 3, Peter concludes his series of reflections.

“Our mission, dictated by the New Zealand Antarctic Division, was to produce an accurate topographic map (at a scale of 1:250,000) and to carry out a geological reconnaissance of the region as part of NZ’s Ross Dependency mapping programme.  To achieve this, leader Wally Herbert and I (as the surveyor) planned to establish extensive ground control (accurately located natural features) to provide the framework for us to map the detail from US oblique aerial photography once back in New Zealand. Geologist Vic McGregor was responsible for the geological mapping and rock collection and mountaineer and guide Kevin Pain was our field assistant – and my tent and sledging mate.  That was the theory, but then there was always the “Antarctic factor” which ensures that every physical, or even mental, endeavour is just that much harder to do there than anywhere else on earth thanks to the ever-present cold and the effort of even moving around in over-stuffed clothing or carrying out fiddly tasks wearing great furry mitts.”

From left to right: Vic McGregor (geologist), Peter Otway (surveyor), Kevin Pain (field assistant), Wally Herbert (leader)

From left to right: Vic McGregor (geologist), Peter Otway (surveyor), Kevin Pain (field assistant), Wally Herbert (leader). Click to enlarge

Click here to read Part 3 of Peter Otway’s Reflections in full


Keep track of both teams with our interactive Google Earth map. Zoom in to see each day’s progress, with the position marked by pictures of team leaders Henry Worsley and Mark Langridge. Click on the icon to see that day’s sitrep in full.

View SACR in a larger map

A Special Message to all Schools

The three schools that raise the most funds for the Scott-Amundsen Race and the Royal British Legion will be rewarded with a visit from the Scott team! Mark, Vic and Kev will give a full presentation during their visit, with slides, videos, images, in short, the full works.

Schools wishing to donate should do so via the page. Enter the name of your school when donating, and email Andy the webmaster to make sure we register your donation.

We’d also like to invite all the schools that are following the progress to contact the webmaster, so that you can be mentioned on a new “Scott-Amundsen Schools” page. Please include a very short text on your school and any SACR-related activities, especially fundraising efforts! We’ll list your school plus a link to your website.



  1. Lucy Rudd on January 9, 2012 at 10:57 pm said:

    A big congratulations To my Louis and Henry on your arrival at he South Pole. I am so proud Louis that you have achieved your dream. Now come home as its your turn to walk the dog!! At least you won’t need to pull a pulk behind you…
    Team Scott not long left until you get to the Pole and then the celebrations can begin..

  2. Congratulations Team Amundsen!!!

  3. Tracey Ceaton on January 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm said:

    BRILLIANT! congratulations to you both – enjoy the rest!

  4. Charles Swithinbank on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm said:

    Hearty congratulations to the Amundsen team on a brilliant achievement. Many thanks Henry for your phone call and sorry I was out. Now rest and recover! Please give my regards to Dr Papitashvili (who welcomed me a year ago).

  5. Mark Sandford on January 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm said:

    Congratulations to Lou and Henry.Mark, Kev and Vic keep on pushing south we are all behind you supporting you all the way and loving your audio messages. Mark Sandford

    • Wendi Langridge on January 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm said:

      Will pass on your best to the lads Mark and thanks again for all your funraising efforts at camp.

      Best regards

  6. Clive E on January 9, 2012 at 5:18 pm said:

    Lou, Henry.
    Fantastic result fellas!!
    Well Done!
    Take tomorrow off!!
    Best regards,
    Clive E

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