November 21, 2011

Tuesday, 21 November 1911


Scott's party overtook Lt. Evans and the former motor party, now man-hauling. Evans, determined to prove himself to Scott, had pushed his party ahead, and had been waiting almost a week, killing time by building an enormous cairn they dubbed "Mount Hooper".

"They all look very fit," Scott wrote of the former motor party -- Day, Lashly, Hooper, and Teddy Evans -- "but declare themselves to be very hungry. This is interesting as showing conclusively that a ration amply sufficient for the needs of men leading ponies is quite insufficient for men doing hard pulling work; it therefore fully justifies the provision which we have made for the Summit work. Even on that I have little doubt we shall soon get hungry. Day looks very thin, almost gaunt, but fit." [1]

There were now sixteen men, with sledges, ponies, and dogs. With three different kinds of transport, they had to begin their day's travel with five separate starts, spread out over several hours to allow for different speeds, beginning with the slowest: first the man-haulers, then three pony teams separately, and finally Meares with Dimitri and the dogs. It reminded even Scott of "a somewhat disorganised fleet". [2]

At the cairn here at 80° 32', known more formally as the Upper Barrier Depot, Cherry noted later, they left "three S (summit) rations, two cases of emergency biscuits and two cases of oil, which constituted three weekly food units for the three parties which were to advance from the bottom of the Beardmore Glacier. This food was to take them back from 80° 32' to One Ton Camp. We all camped for the night 3 miles farther on: sixteen men, five tents, ten ponies, twenty-three dogs and thirteen sledges." [3]


Hassel depoted his sledge at the Butcher's Shop, and the eighteen remaining dogs were divided between Bjaaland's, Helmer Hanssen's, and Wisting's teams. "From the Pole," Amundsen added, "12 dogs in two teams." [4]

All unnecessary items were also depoted here, including some items of reindeer-skin clothing, as they were too warm.

"We still have ca. 54 litres of paraffin left."

They were 274 miles from the Pole.


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 18 November, 1911, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.
[2] R.F. Scott, [diary, 2 November 1911], quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.425.
[3] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World, ch.IX.
[4] Roald Amundsen, diary, 22 November, 1911, quoted by Roland Huntford in Race for the South Pole : the expedition diaries of Scott and Amundsen (London : Continuum, c2010), p.

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