November 29, 2011

Wednesday, 29 November 1911


"Camp 25. Lat. 82° 21'. Things much better," wrote Scott. "The land showed up late yesterday; Mount Markham, a magnificent triple peak, appearing wonderfully close, Cape Lyttelton and Cape Goldie. We did our march in good time, leaving about 4.20, and getting into this camp at 1.15. About 7 1/2 hours on the march. I suppose our speed throughout averages 2 stat. miles an hour." [1]

"It is curious," Cherry wrote later, "to see how depressed all our diaries become when this bad weather obtained, and how quickly we must have cheered up whenever the sun came out." [2]

Chinaman made "four feeds for the dogs", Scott noted. "We could really get though now with their help and without much delay, yet every consideration makes it desirable to save the men from heavy hauling as long as possible."


Sledges going through the Devil's Glacier. Bjaaland (the photographer) has gone ahead on ski, stamping sideways to test the strength of the snow bridge, but Amundsen and Hassel, in the distance, have decided not to risk the sledges and turned them around to try another way. [3]

Picking their way across an icy surface covered with huge crevasses provoked a heartfelt baptism. "The Devil's Glacier was worthy of its name," wrote Amundsen that evening. "One has to move 2 miles to advance 1. Chasm after chasm, abyss after abyss has to be circumvented. Treacherous crevasses and much other unpleasantness make progress extremely hard. The dogs are struggling and the drivers not less." [4]


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 29 November, 1911, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition : the Journals, v.1.
[2] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World, ch.IX.
[3] Roald Amundsen Bildearkiv, Nasjonalbiblioteket. See also The South Pole, ch.11. This image may be reversed from the original, as Amundsen points out that the figures of himself and Hassel are "on the right".
[4] Roald Amundsen, diary, 30 November, 1911, quoted by Roland Huntford in The Amundsen Photographs (London : Hodder & Stoughton, c1987), p.126.

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