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Arctic Passage: Ice Survivors

Season 33, Episode 7 of 19

After the Franklin expedition, more than a half-century would pass before an innovative explorer finally conquered the Northwest Passage. Unsupported by naval might or government funding, a 29-year-old Norwegian, Roald Amundsen, set out with improbably slim resources: six men and a tiny, shallow vessel, the Gjoa, which he presumed could slip through channels that endangered larger ships. Caught by the winter ice, Amundsen did what the earlier Franklin crew had been unable or unwilling to do: he turned to the native Inuit to learn their ancient skills of Arctic survival. What they taught him - seal hunting, building igloos and handling dog teams - not only ensured the success of his voyage but were crucial training for his conquest of the South Pole in 1912. NOVA retraces Amundsen's triumphant voyage, taking viewers to the Canadian Arctic where his name is legendary among the native people.

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