OSLO, Norway -- Roald Amundsen's feat of reaching the South Pole on skis 100 years ago is proving a tough act to follow for polar adventurers trying to get there in time to celebrate the centennial of the Norwegian pioneer's expedition.
Fierce, icy winds have delayed some of the teams skiing across Antarctica with the aim of reaching the geographic South Pole for the anniversary celebration on Wednesday. Some explorers gave up and were picked up by airplane so they could make it in time for the ceremony, according to their blogs and the Norwegian Polar Institute.
Others including Norwegian cross-country great Vegard Ulvang and adventurer Boerge Ousland were still hoping to make it.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Stoltenberg flew to Antarctica on Monday to attend the ceremony, calling Amundsen's accomplishment "a great and important achievement for Norway as a young nation." Norway became independent in 1905 after nearly 100 years in a union with Sweden.
On Dec. 14, 1911, Amundsen became the first person to reach the South Pole, beating Robert Falcon Scott, a Briton. Scott and four companions reached the pole the following month but died on the way out.
Norwegian Polar Institute director Jan-Gunnar Winther was among those who didn't make it all the way on skis to the South Pole and flew the last stretch to get there in time for the anniversary.
So did Norwegian adventurer Asle Johansen, who had hoped to complete the trek with the same early 20th-century equipment that Amundsen did.
Felicity Aston of Britain, who is trying to become the first woman to cross Antarctica alone, will miss the centennial and now expects to arrive about a week later.
"It's a bit of a shame because originally I was hoping to arrive by the 14th ... and I hear there's going to be a bit of a party, but unfortunately I'll still be out here skiing, so I'm going to miss the party," Aston told The Associated Press in an interview by satellite phone last week.