July 1, 2011

Saturday, 1 July 1911


Atkinson's hand in a frostbitten condition similar to Cherry's, June 1911. [1]

Cherry wrote later, "During these days the blisters on my fingers were very painful. Long before my hands were frost-bitten, or indeed anything but cold, which was of course a normal thing, the matter inside these big blisters, which rose all down my fingers with only a skin between them, was frozen into ice. To handle the cooking gear or the food bags was agony; to start the primus was worse; and when, one day, I was able to prick six or seven of the blisters after supper and let the liquid matter out, the relief was very great. Every night after that I treated such others as were ready in the same way until they gradually disappeared. Sometimes it was difficult not to howl." [2]

Blistering is in fact a symptom of relatively shallow frostbite, deeper than when the skin becomes numb and white, but not as bad as when the affected area turns hard and, in worst cases, black.


[1] Scott Polar Research Institute.
[2] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World, ch.VII.

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