November 15, 2011

Wednesday, 15 November 1911


In the early afternoon, the Norwegians arrived at 85°, having come over undulating terrain with at one point, "a hollow full of vile crevasses", as Bjaaland put it. [1] They built another depot, marking it with a gabardine flag on its south side.

They were now making a degree at each stretch, the dogs running easily.

To the north, Prestrud's party reached the 158th meridian. "Should we go on?" he wondered. "It was tempting enough, as the probability was that sooner or later we should come upon something; but there was a point in our instructions that had to be followed, and it said: Go to the point where land is marked on the chart. This point was now about 120 geographical miles to the north of us. Therefore, instead of going on to the east in uncertainty, we decided to turn to the left and go north. The position of the spot where we altered our course was determined, and it was marked by a snow beacon 7 feet high, on the top of which was placed a tin box containing a brief report." [2]


[1] Olav Bjaaland, diary, 16 November, 1911, quoted by Roland Huntford in Race for the South Pole (London : Continuum, c2010), p.127.
[2] Kristian Prestrud, "The Eastern Sledge Journey", in Roald Amundsen's The South Pole, ch.15. Note that the date here is given as 16th November; see Hinks' note on dates in "The Observations of Amundsen and Scott at the South Pole" (The Geographical Journal, April 1944, p.169).

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