stoker - Nansen/Fram North Pole attempt 1893-96
sailor - De Gerlache/Belgica 1897-99
- first successful expedition to reach the South Pole - 1910-11
Johansen was one of Norway's most famous gymnasts when he left Norway
on the Fram with Nansen in 1893. He became Nansen's only companion in
1895, when they set out on foot from the Fram that was stuck (intentionally)
in the Arctic sea ice attempting to reach the North Pole. Nansen and
Johansen didn't manage the Pole but did record the farthest north record
at that time.
The two over wintered on Franz Joseph Land in a hut
made from stone and walrus skin.
On his return to Norway, Johansen was promoted to
captain in the infantry, a role that seemed to be beyond him causing
him to drink heavily and eventually leave the army. He overcame his
drinking during a stay in Spitzbergen from 1907-09. Nansen requested
that Amundsen took him on the South Pole expedition, a decision about
which Amundsen had some reservations due to Johansen being prone to
At the time of the South Polar expedition, Johansen
was an almost legendary figure. He was physically very strong, could
drive a dog team, was an accomplished skier and knew how to survive
in the ice.
Johansen was originally one of a party of eight chosen
to set out for the South Pole from the winter quarters based around
the ship Fram, known as Framheim. They set off initially on the 8th
of September 1911 but were driven back in disarray by the intense cold
so early in the season.
Johansen had argued with Amundsen over the timing
of the attempt on the pole before they set out, saying that it was too
early in the season. Their ignominious return and the fact that Johansen
had to rescue one of the team from the possibly fatal effects of the
cold meant that relations deteriorated further between the two men.
Amundsen removed Johansen from the polar party and when they set out
again towards the end of October, there were five rather than the previous
Tragically the emotional blow of this event contributed
to Johansen taking his own life in 1913, six months after returning
Fredrik Hjalmar Johansen, August 1896
Landmarks named after Hjalmar
Description: A prominent peak, 3,310 m, standing 3 mi ESE of
Mount Grier in the La Gorce Mountains of the Queen Maud Mountains.
Discovered by R. Admiral Byrd on the South Pole Flight of Nov.
28-29, 1929, and mapped in December 1934 by the ByrdAE geological
party under Quin Blackburn. So named in an attempt to reconcile
Byrd's discoveries with the names applied by Roald Amundsen in 1911.
Amundsen had named a peak in the general vicinity for Hjalmar
Variant Name(s) - Mount Hjalmar Johansen, Mount Thurston