Next up on the design block is Tryggve Gran. Gran was a lieutenant in the Norwegian navy, as well as one of the first professional skiers. He was hired onto the expedition to teach the British how to ski – the sport was only just becoming popular in the mainstream, and while those who had been on the Discovery expedition had had practice with one-stick skiing, the two-stick cross-country skiing we’re familiar with today was an innovation in 1910.
I’ve only just started reading his published journals, but so far they’re confirming my impression of his being the Legolas of the expedition. His uncanny ease at gliding along on top of the snow only helps with the image.
Gran was enthusiastic about being part of this great undertaking, and optimistic about being chosen to go for the Pole, but things got awkward when Amundsen put his oar in, and for understandable reasons (as he admitted at the time) he had to be eliminated from consideration. Gran was loyal to Scott all his life, which was a long one – he died in 1980.
T. Griffith Taylor led a geological side-expedition to the Western Mountains on which Gran assisted, and in his official report (??!) which was published in Scott's Last Expedition: Vol. II he's hidden this little Easter egg, a ditty written for Gran's 23rd birthday: ( Read more... ) One is left to wonder just how 'unmoral' he might have been ... (Seriously, the official report, Griff?)