Into the Ice The Story of Arctic Exploration By Lynn Curlee Genre: Narrative Nonfiction (Recounts a series of events) Fridtjof Nansen – • Great pioneer in search of the North Pole • Wrote about the Aurora Borealis • Also called “northern lights” – strange atmospheric effect in the sky Organized his 1st expedition in 1888 across Greenland • He & 5 companions were dropped of by ship & Had no choice but to ski west to civilization. • Only had provisions for the one way journey • NO TURNING BACK NOW to his starting point!!! • Nansen carefully planned every detail • Designed his own equipment • Knew how to improvise off the land • Used Inuit methods like the use of dog Sledges, kayaks & snow houses • Very scientific, planned well, adaptable & daring !!! Nansen had an interesting idea…… • Sail a ship directly into the ice off Siberia, Then… let it be frozen into the ice & let it drift with the ice across the top of the world. • The ship would penetrate the heart of the Arctic Nansen’s small ship was named the Fram • Specially designed with a special hull • Fully equipped with scientific equipment & supplies for 5 years • Had workshops, a smithy (held coal), & a windmill that helped produce electricity! • Ship so comfortable – they eventually got restless & bored • Nansen decided to go further out into the ice – when only 360 miles from the North Pole!! In March, 1895 Nansen & his companion, Hjalmar Johansen, set out on another adventure. • For -3- weeks, they struggled north over immense ridges of broken ice. • Drifting ice quickly carried them south faster than they could go north • Provisions were running low ----- so they reluctantly headed for land • Over weeks, sun rose higher & the ice became slushy • Made traveling over ice treacherous • Took over 4 months to reach land! • They survived by hunting seals & training weaker dogs to become strong In the spring, the ice broke up. Nansen & Johansen set out in their kayaks. 1 year & 4 months after leaving the Fram, they were picked up by an English expedition. *The crew broke free of the ice in the ocean east of Greenland – more than 1000 miles from their starting point! • This expedition was considered a “triumphant” success because they had gone farther north than anyone had before. Race to the North Pole During this time explorers thought that reaching the Pole would mean that most of the planet had been mastered/discovered. • Salomon Andree Swedish engineer who built a large hydrogen filled balloon with a passenger gondola to hold -3- men, supplies and a small boat! (Balloons were still the only means of flight during this time (1890s) * Serious limitations • Can’t be steered and sensitive to temperature changes Andree tried to solve the steering problem but ignored the temperature problem. The result was disastrous! 1897 – Andree lifted off again in a balloon. • By the 3rd day, the balloon went down due to the gas leaking out of it. • It took 3 months to get to the nearest island! They were inexperienced, unprepared & unable to survive the winter. -33- years later their frozen remains were found along with Andree’s journal and undeveloped pictures in their camera……..EERIE………….. Physically the North Pole is nothing more than a theoretical point on Earth’s surface. BUT…… Reaching it was a landmark human achievement! Robert E. Peary • for -20- years he conducted expeditions to NW Greenland looking for the best route. • Not really interested in scientific discovery or mapping • He just wanted to be FIRST – not really focused on the scientific parts!!! • He was vain & arrogant but ran his expeditions like a military assignment • Unconventional & innovative • Most enthusiastic supporter was President Theodore Roosevelt • His wife was the 1st white woman in the Arctic & gave birth to their daughter while on the expedition! • Polar Inuit were the key to his success • Inuit women made his furs & the men used their own dogs to pull his sledges, build his snowhouses, & did his hunting in exchange for tools & other goods. • • • • Robert E. Peary (con’t) In 1906, Peary made a full-scale assault upon the North Pole His plan was to go as far north as possible & stay the winter in Greenland or the Canadian Islands. He wanted to go to the Pole in late February, before the ice started to break up. HOWEVER…… the Arctic did not cooperate… • Expedition was delayed several days, there was a blizzard & supplies dwindled. • He ended up settling 175 miles from the Pole. Other Explorers • Dr. Frederick A. Cook was a veteran of both Arctic & Antarctic exploration • He was the physician on Peary’s earlier expeditions • * Peary refused to allow Cook to publish an article about his experiences • They had an argument over this. • In March 1909, Perry set out to find the North Pole again. • He carefully planned & calculated the trip. • In April 1909, after 23 years of planning……he reached the Pole first……. Or did he?????? • When Peary came back home, he was stunned of the news that Dr. Cook had already returned from his trip to the Pole. • Peary was furious!!! He accused Dr. Cook of lying. • In the investigations that followed, it was found that Peary was unable to verify his own claim! * Peary was a sloppy navigator and didn’t take clear notes • His carelessness in his documentation led to his claim to be the 1st at the Pole as – false & rejected. • Commander Robert E. Peary was finally given the credit & was made Admiral • However, he felt his reputation was tarnished & died an embittered man. In recent years…. Researchers have determined neither man actually stepped for at the North Pole! Classic Era of Arctic Exploration • Ended with Peary • Attention then shifted to the Antarctic & the South Pole • Around 1914 the world was at war & focused on that- exploration was postponed • Balloons were no longer the only means of flight • Several attempts were made to fly to the North Pole in small airplanes • The 1st person to stand at the North Pole (whose claim remains undisputed - is Joseph Fletcher. • U.S. Air Force pilot who landed there in 1952 Maps ( like the one on p. 425 ) help us to imagine distances between the North Pole and nearby land masses. ?’s to think about • Think about Peary’s nature & give examples on how he was, • The story has several facts, but find one or two opinions of the author.