The two member Norwegian team comprising Rolf Bae and Eirik Sonneland of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition arrived at the South Pole earlier today (December 20th, 2000)  exactly 2 months after setting out from the Norwegian Troll Base in Droning Maud Land where they had over-wintered.

The following photos were taken by a variety of persons at different times and locations.

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A distant view showing Rolf Bae and Eirik Sonneland in the background approaching the ceremonial South Pole with its circle of National Flags.


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A slightly closer view taken a few seconds later


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The two Norwegian Expeditioneers approaching behind the Norwegian Flag.


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Arriving at the ceremonial South Pole pulling hard on their loads.


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Stopped at the ceremonial South Pole


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Passing on from the ceremonial South Pole


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A number of South Pole people were on hand to record and welcome the pairs arrival at the true geographic South Pole.


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Arriving at the True or Geographic South Pole  with a row of stakes marking the actual Pole. Note: Because the South Pole sits on top of a  thick ice sheet which is moving, the true South Pole accordingly appears to move in relation to the buildings and markers on the surface.


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This view shows the signpost in the background marking the details of the true South Pole. The row of marker poles showing the movement of the actual pole can be seen at right in the background.


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Talking to local South Pole members of the nearby Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.


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Posing in front of the South Geographic Sign


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With a new American friend at the South Pole


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Arriving inside the Pole Station


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Rolf Making a radio call back home to Norway from the South Pole


Scott Base.

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The two man team of Rolf Bae and Eirik Sonneland completed their trans-Antarctic trek on Monday 5th February (1am local time) when they arrived at Williams Field, the ice runway on McMurdo Sound.  They remained at nearby Scott Base recuperating until 13th February,  when they were picked up by all-terrain vehicles (ATV) from the vessel "Akademik Shokalskiy".  The ship, which was then at the edge of the fast ice in the vicinity of Cape Royds, used its ATV's to pick up the men from Hut Point near Scott Base.   The vessel had on board a party of tourists.

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Heritage Expeditions Rodney Russ collecting Rolf and Eirik and their sleds from Hutt Point using the "Akademik Shokalskiy"'s two new Argos Naiad ATV's.  

The ATV's made a fifty kilometre round-trip across the fast ice as the channel into McMurdo had refrozen .

On Board "Akademik Shokalskiy"

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This view shows the "Akademik Shokalskiy"alongside the fast ice in the Ross Sea


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A Zodiac from the "Akademic Shokalskiy" visiting penguins



Pushing through small ice chunks

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Several icebergs were sighted by the "Akademik Shokalskiy"


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A different weathered iceberg spotted by "Akademik Shokalskiy"


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The vessel berthed at Bluff early in the morning of 24th February, 2001.  Rolf (in red jacket) and Eirik (green jacket) kneeling in front pose with the expedition staff from the "Akademik Shokalskiy" including the expedition leader Rodney Russ standing directly behind Rolf and Eirik.


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One of the first things required was clearance by New Zealand customs. Here Eirik is giving his details to a NZ Immigration Officer.


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The pair of Sledges being loaded onto a Tulloch Transport truck at Bluff.


A chance to pose at the famous road sign at bluff to mark the southern most end of State Highway one.

It shows the South Pole is 4810 km away.

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200 km north is another famous road sign situated north of Oamaru. This marks the 45th Parrallel.


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The actual spot marking the 45th parallel is at the foot of this commemorative stone erected in 1939 to mark halfway between the South Pole and the Equator.

In Christchurch

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In Christchurch a visit was made to the International Antarctic Centre to meet a television crew. Here Eirik and Rolf are shown with Klaus Arne Pedersen of the Antarctic Protection Society who had collected the pair from Bluff and was hosting the two Norwegians during their Christchurch stay. The vehicle behind is a Haaglund ATV as used in the antarctic. This particular vehicle was named by and after Sir Edmund Hillary.


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An important task in Christchurch was visiting fellow Norwegian Thomas Wotnitza in Christchurch Public Hospital. Thomas was working for the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition Program on board their research vessel "Lance" when he was injured in a Skidoo accident near the South African SANAE Base. He suffered serious head and other injuries. In a multi-national effort he was flown by German Antarctic aircraft via the British Halley Base to the American South Pole Station. From there he was flown by ski equippped Hercules to McMurdo and from there to Christchurch arriving January 28th.

The day after this photo was taken, Thomas was scheduled to fly home to Norway with a nurse and doctor.


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Another task done by the Nowegians was autographing philatelic covers. Here we see Rolf Bae signing covers with Steven McLachlan of Shades Stamp Shop at right.


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Many media interviews were made over the phone including the above one to Martin Betts of ANAN news in Hobart.


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This television interview was made by Television New Zealand and appeared that night on the main Netrwork news programme of Television One as a featured item. here Hamish Clark interviews Rolf Bae while Eirik looks on. Footage taken by the pair in Antarctica was also incorporated into the television news item.


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Eirik is explaining some of the equipment the pair used on their trek.


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Rolf is showing how even with a gentle wind the parasails can be flown.


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Skis and a sled re-packed ready for transport back to Norway.


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Eirik (centre) with Rolf right saying good bye at Christchurch International Airport to Jared Pettersson (Left) from Canterbury University. They had met Jared at Scott Base earlier that month when he was there doing Permafrost contaminant research. Jared lived up to his promise and showed Rolf and Eirik some of the Christchurch nightlife during their short stay in New Zealand.

Rolf and Eirik departed Christchurch on Wednesday 28th February and flew home to Stavanger in Norway via Singapore, Frankfurt and Oslo.

Home in Stavanger

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Eirik and Rolf arrived home in Stavanger on Thursday 1st March and were met there by a large crowd of well wishers, the local news media, the Mayor of Stavanger and a brass band plus of course many friends and family. Rolf surprised many by nearly shaving off  all his hair.

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Eirik and Rolf were presented with flowers and also special Champion medals normally only given to returning Olympic Gold Medal Winners.


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Here we see Eirik bering interviewed by local Television with the Mayor at left.


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More interviews were done at Stavanger Airport before the chance was taken to greet friends and family.   The next day Eirik and Rolf appeared on the "Good Morning Norway" television programme for an interview and the following day they reappeared to have a television chef cook them their special meal they dreamt about while crossing Antarctica.

LongshipMedal.jpg (30275 bytes) Shown at left is one of the special medals presented to Eirik and Rolf. It is a model of a Viking longship measuring 7 x 7 cm with the inscription "Sola Kommune" on the sail.  This indicates the trophy was presented by the Mayor of Sola.
The Special Plate shown at right was also presented to them. It measures 20 x 20cm


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PlateInscription.jpg (33123 bytes)     The inscription on it reads "Rogaland Fylkeskommunu".

    This means that it was presented by the County Governor.

Click here to philatelic covers from this expedition

Rolf and Eirik's own web page can be viewed here

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