Visting Oscar

(06.06.1871 - 05.12.1936)


Norwegian polar explorer, Amundsen's satellite on expeditions to the South Pole, along the Northeast Passage. The first person (together with Amundsen), who visited both geographic poles of the planet.

Born in Larvik, Norway. At the age of 16 he went to the seas and then began to serve in the Norwegian Navy. He worked as a naval shooter at the main naval base in Norway, Karljohansvern, near Horten. In 1909, Wisting asked Roald Amundsen to take him on an expedition on the Fram to the North Pole. He, like the whole world, did not know that Amundsen had changed his plan, having gone to the South Pole.

At the base organized by Amundsen, which he called Framheim, Visting was mainly engaged in tents, equipment and various sewing matters. "There was no such thing in the tailoring craft that Visting could not cope with", Amundsen writes. In addition, Visting was engaged in painting the tents, and during the march to the pole, along with Amundsen, Hansen, Bjolanne and Hassel, he performed the duties of a veterinarian and often coca. Before leaving the barrier, Visting stuck his broken ski into the snow. After returning to the barrier, when the expedition could not navigate and find a warehouse, Hansen noticed Wishing's ski, which allowed the participants to safely move to the barrier. In the years 1918-1925, Visting took part in the navigation of the Northeast Passage on the ship "Maud", where he performed the functions of a doctor and helped Amundsen to break his arm.

Visting was one of the best friends of Roald Amundsen and a proven companion. He did not turn away from him even in difficult times for the last in 1924, when everything seemed to turn against Amundsen. In gratitude, Amundsen took Wisting on a transatlantic flight with Lincoln Ellsworth to share the glory of the first man who visited both poles. Amundsen describes it this way: “Fifteen years later, when Ellsworth's generosity gave me the opportunity to fulfill another dream of my life, namely, to fly over the Arctic Ocean over the North Pole from Europe to America, I was given the greatest opportunity to ask one of those four brave Norwegians who accompanied me to the South Pole, whether he does not agree to accompany me now. This man was Oscar Wisting.  If I were jealous of others in the honors rendered to them, if I were an egoist, then today I would have the indisputable honor of being the only person in the world who visited both poles. But for me such a difference was of much less value than the opportunity to arrange so that my brave comrade and faithful friend Wishing shared the honor of being the first to visit both poles.

On the airship "Norway" Visting stood at the helm.

Later, in 1930, Visting published the book "16 years with Royal Amundsen".

In 1936, Wisting was invited to become the director of the "Fram" Museum. Visting agreed and stood aboard the "Fram" at its installation, directing the progress of the work. As Gennady Fisch writes:

"And when the ship, having said goodbye to the salty wave forever, stood on reinforced concrete supports, the heart of the old polar explorer could not stand ... Oscar Wishing died of a heartbreak on the deck of a beloved ship ...".


Statue of Oscar Wisting at Larvik Maritime Museum


He died in Oslo.

The merits of Visting are marked by the Order of the Legion of Honor, the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olaf, and the Order of the Crown of Italy.

Mountain in the southern part of the Laponia peninsula, Gustav V Land, Northeastern Land Island, Svalbard. Coordinates 80° 16'N   20° 11'E.


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