After we had set up camp 80 km from the South Pole last night it became clear that time was too short and the kilometres too many for us to make it in time for the Jubilee festivities.
They start on the afternoon of 14 December, New Zealand time, which is during the night between 13 and 14 December Norwegian time. The goal we had been striving for all these many months was ultimately beyond our reach. If we had started 12 days late instead of 13 we would have made it. But that’s just the way it goes...
We made the following decision: Jan-Gunnar, who has official duties to fulfil during the ceremony, simply must be at the South Pole; Stein, who has been struggling for a while, will accompany Jan-Gunnar. Vegard and Harald Dag will ski the last leg, aiming to arrive 14 December Norwegian time. In that way, the Centenary expedition will both be represented during the official ceremony and also retrace Amundsen’s entire route.
We considered this solution to be the best alternative, given our situation. At the time this is being written, Jan-Gunnar and Stein have arrived safely at the South Pole and Vegard and Harald Dag are on their way.
Position: S 89 37.279, W 177 30.069
Distance traversed: 39 km
Distance behind Amundsen: 13,5 km
Total distance traversed: 1270 km
Remaining to the South Pole: 41 km