Rolf’s excursion

How do you select the team for a centenary expedition to the South Pole? This project began with a phone call from Rolf Bae to Stein in the winter of 2008.
Rolf BaeRolf Bae, who originally conceived the idea for the Centenary Expedition. Photo: TV2

Rolf: “Shall we follow Amundsen’s route to the South Pole in 2011? Nobody has done that yet.”
Stein: “Yes!”

“The Centenary Expedition 1911–2011” is Rolf’s doing. Without that first phone call none of us would be here today.

And then Stein called Vegard.

Stein: “Want to come along with Rolf and me to the South Pole in 2011?”
Vegard: “Yes!”

Rolf had many irons in the fire in 2008. First he participated in the repeat ascent along “the Norwegian route” of Great Trango Tower in Pakistan. He was back in Norway only briefly before leaving for K2. He called from base camp on K2 to discuss our plans for the South Pole. The three of us were going to get together when Rolf came home. But he never came home.

Rolf Bae was the primus motor, the driving force behind the project and the team fell apart in shock after the accident on K2. Nothing more happened until Vegard became acquainted with Jan-Gunnar.

Vegard: “Maybe you’d like to come along with Stein and me to the South Pole.”
Jan-Gunnar: “Yes!”

And so the ball was rolling again. Stein placed a call to Harald Dag.

Stein: “Would you like to come along to the South Pole?”
Harald Dag: “I’ll ask Sigrun.” (Brief silence.) “Yes!”