Podcast | Exploring the Seattle history of Roald Amundsen

The famed Arctic explorer thrived when times were tough, and they were often tough.

Archival photo of older man in fur skins

Roald Amundsen in the 1920s. 

When Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen first arrived in Seattle in the early years of the 20th century, he was given a hero's welcome. At the time, explorers were all the rage, and Amundsen, having just led the first successful trip through the Northwest Passage, had secured his place among the greats.

In the years that followed he would become the first person to successfully reach the South Pole and, later, would travel to the North Pole. Before that latter trip, Amundsen returned to Seattle and set up camp for six months, updating his gear and shoring up his finances. 


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Crosscut's resident historian Knute Berger told the story of Amundsen's time in Seattle in a recent episode of his Mossback's Northwest video series, but there is much more to explore.

For this episode of the Mossback podcast, Berger and co-host Sara Bernard talk about Amundsen's great ambitions. They discuss what drove Amundsen to undertake such extreme endeavors, how he raised the money needed for his expeditions and the fellowship among explorers that would eventually lead to his apparent death.  

Before listening, we suggest you watch the Mossback's Northwest episode about Roald Amundsen here.

About the Hosts

Knute Berger

Knute Berger

Knute “Mossback” Berger is Crosscut's Editor-at-Large.