card
325

Oscar Wisting

OLogy Series
ologist
card
325

Oscar Wisting

OLogy Series
ologist

Oscar Wisting was part of the famous Antarctic expedition led by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. He was a talented craftsmen, who could fix boots, clothes, tents, and other essential supplies. He also cared for the sled dogs. In Dec- ember 1911, Wisting was one of five men from this expedition who became the first to reach the South Pole. He continued to work with Amundsen for 16 years after the South Pole expedition.

When Amundsen set sail from Norway in 1910, Wisting and the rest of the crew believed they were headed for:

the North Pole

the South Pole

America

Are you right?

Correct!

Amundsen's original plan was to reach the Arctic Ocean and possibly drift in the sea ice across the North Pole. But when he learned that Robert Peary had already reached it, Amundsen set a new course for the South Pole.

Oscar Wisting took a magnetic compass to the Pole. However, he probably did not rely on it much during his journey because:

the compass was broken

magnetic compasses don't work well near the South Pole

he did not need to know the direction

Are you right?

Correct!

In Antarctica, magnetic compasses don't work well because it's too close to the south magnetic pole to make an accurate reading. The men usually relied on other equipment to find their way.

Roald Amundsen

Wisting had a way
of his own with
his four-footed subjects,
and was soon on
a confidential footing
with them.

Wisting was one of the first two people to reach both the North Pole and the South Pole.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

The other was his companion, Roald Amundsen. The two reached the North Pole by aircraft in 1926.

The ship from Amunsen's famous expedition, the Fram, still exists today.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

The ship is on display at the Fram Museum in Oslo. Wisting helped establish the museum. In 1936, he died at the museum--in his old bunk on board the Fram.

Lived: 1871-1936
Hometown: Larvik, Norway
Known for: One of the five-member Norwegian team that reached the South Pole in 1911.
Cool Fact: Using a rope, Wisting saved a teammate from plunging into a crevasse, a deep crack in the ice sheet.
Cool Fact: After the expedition, Wisting helped establish a museum in Norway that is still open today.

Image credits: The Fram Museum / JFO; Roald Amundsen: © AGE Fotostock.