Roald Amundsen has the distinction of being the first man to both poles. Although not the first to the North Pole, he did cross it with Lincoln Ellsworth on the airship Norge. This flight was from Spitsbergen to Alaska via the North Pole. Thus another first for the man: The 1st trans-Arctic Flight.
On December 8, with the sun shining brightly, they passed Shackleton's farthest south, 88°23'S. They were only 95 miles from the South Pole. The dogs were hungry and exhausted, the men had many sores and frostbitten faces, yet still the party pushed on. The closer they came to the Pole, the more Amundsen worried that Scott had already beaten them. The temptation to race on, at full speed, was shared by everyone. At 3:00 pm, on Friday, December 14, 1911, there was a simultaneous cry of "Halt!" as the sledge meters registered their arrival at the South Pole. They had achieved their goal. Symbolic of their struggle in unity, each of the men, with their weathered and frostbitten hands, grasped the Norwegian flag and planted it firmly at the geographical South Pole. Amundsen named the plain King Haakon VII's Plateau. There were festivities in the tent that evening with each man sharing a little seal meat. At midnight observations were taken that put them at 89° 56'S. Arrangements were now made to encircle the camp with a radius of approximately twelve and a half miles.
At noon, on December 17, the observations had been completed and it was certain the men had done all that could be done. In order to come a few inches closer to the actual Pole, Hanssen and Bjaaland went out four geographical miles and promptly returned. Bjaaland surprised Amundsen when he pulled out a cigar-case full of cigars at dinner. A cigar at the Pole! Following the festival dinner, preparations for departure began. A tent was erected, naming it Poleheim, with Amundsen leaving a message inside for Scott, along with a letter for King Haakon. Thirty-nine days later the party returned to Framheim, as planned, with all five men and 11 dogs "hale and hearty". The month-long voyage back to Tasmania was a frustrating time for Amundsen, who was now quite anxious to be the first to announce the news of their achievement. On March 7, 1912, Amundsen finally cabled his brother Leon with the historic news.
His achievement was celebrated at Amundsen-Scott Base (90 degrees South)