Game Changers: No. 1

Roaldundsen, 1872-1928

Mar 10, 2010
Outside Magazine
Roald Amundsen

WHAT HE DID: The Norwegian was the first to sail the Northwest Passage, in 1903, trek to the South Pole, in 1911, and definitively see the North Pole (from a zeppelin), in 1926. Trifecta!
LEGACY: The greatest explorer of the modern era, Amundsen was bagging the monolithic firsts—across disciplines—while everyone else was merely chasing them.
CLOSING ARGUMENT: Ernest Shackleton is better known, but his fame is the result of failure—both in 1909, when he turned back less than 100 miles from the South Pole, and in 1914, when his miraculous self-rescue in Antarctica overshadowed the fact that he'd gotten his crew trapped in the ice in the first place.

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