After crossing the Northwest Passage, Amundsen made plans to go to the North Pole and explore the North Polar Basin. On hearing in 1909 that first Frederick Cook and then Robert Peary claimed the Pole, he changed his plans. Using Fridtjof Nansen's ship Fram he instead set out for Antarctica in 1910. He probably didn't want to alert Robert Falcon Scott that he would have a competitor for the pole, though Scott later said that Amundsen's presence had no effect on his own plans for the Pole. Since the original plan called for going around the Horn to the Bering Strait he waited until Fram reached Madeira to let his crew know of the change. Every member agreed to continue. On 14 January 1911 they arrived at the eastern edge of Ross Ice Shelf at the location known as the Bay of Whales. Amundsen located his base camp there and named it Framheim It was 60 statute miles (96 km) closer to the Pole than McMurdo Sound, where the rival British expedition led by Scott stayed. During February, March and early April, Amundsen and his men laid supply depots along a line direct to the Pole. This gave him some experience of conditions on the Ross Ice Shelf and provided crucial testing of their equipment. During the winter at Framheim, they kept busy improving their equipment, particularly the sledges. Scot had brought ponies with him which were unsuitable for the job. The Pole team, Bjaaland, Hanssen, Hassel, Wisting and Amundsen, departed on 19 October 1911. They took four sledges and 52 dogs. The ascent to the Antarctic Plateau, along the Axel Heiberg Glacier, was easier than they had expected. They arrived at the edge of the Polar Plateau on November 21. Here they camped at the place they named "Butcher Shop", where 24 of the remaining dogs were killed. Some of the carcasses were fed to the dogs, the balance was cached for the return journey. Blizzards and poor weather made progress slow as they crossed the "Devil's Ballroom", a heavily crevassed area. On 14 December 1911, the team of five, with 16 dogs, arrived at the Pole. They had arrived 35 days before Scott's group. Amundsen named their South Pole camp Polheim, They left a small tent and letter stating their accomplishment, in the event they did not return safely to Framheim. Where as Amundsen could mail his king that he has discovered the South Pole. Scott last words in his diary before he died in the snow were: beware for our natives.

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