Amundsen's Way - 6 May
Having written about Captain Scott’s Antarctic expedition, I was not favourably disposed towards Roald Amundsen, who had employed such cunny and subterfuge to gain the upper hand in the race to the South Pole.
However after researching him and reading about his many audacious exploits, I found myself utterly captivated by this brilliant and uncompromising polar explorer.
Amundsen’s expedition planning was an exercise in precision. Nothing was left to chance. Once settled on a goal, he followed through with a single-minded focus that few could rival.
What was particularly interesting to me as a writer was Amundsen’s evolution as a polar hero.
From an early age, he focused his attention on a building a career in exploration, acquiring skills the hard way - at the margins of human survival. The unpleasant, the treacherous – Amundsen embraced it all, even signing up to low-status or unpaid positions to gain precious experience.
Throughout Amundsen was an expert at learning from his own mistakes and those of others. Every experience was an opportunity to refine his thinking and develop areas of personal deficit. This is very much the modern mindset of an elite sportsman – fascinating!