But Fridtjof Nansen, a young Norwegian, proved them wrong. In 1888, he and his small party went light and fast, unlike two large expeditions a few years before. And unlike the others, Nansen traveled from east to west, giving himself no option of retreat to a safe base. It would be forward or die trying. He did it in seven weeks, man-hauling his supplies and ascending to 8,900ft (2,700 meters) elevation, where summertime temperatures dropped to -49F (-45C).