December 23, 2011

Saturday, 23 December 1911


After a rough afternoon climb over crevasses and waves of ice, Scott wrote, "quite suddenly at 5 P.M. everything changed. The hard surface gave place to regular sastrugi and our horizon levelled in every direction. I hung on to the S.W. till 6 P.M., and then camped with a delightful feeling of security that we had at length reached the summit proper. I am feeling very cheerful about everything to-night. We marched 15 miles (geo.) (over 17 stat.) to-day, mounting nearly 800 feet and all in about 8 1/2 hours. My determination to keep mounting irrespective of course is fully justified and I shall be indeed surprised if we have any further difficulties with crevasses or steep slopes. To me for the first time our goal seems really in sight. We can pull our loads and pull them much faster and farther than I expected in my most hopeful moments. I only pray for a fair share of good weather. There is a cold wind now as expected, but with good clothes and well fed as we are, we can stick a lot worse than we are getting. I trust this may prove the turning-point in our fortunes for which we have waited so patiently." [1]


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 23 December 1911, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.

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