January 12, 2012

Friday, 12 January 1912


A start in soft snow made a difficult march, wrote Scott, with the first two hours "terribly slow". After lunch, cloud cover and a cool wind helped to firm up the surfaces, and made the going briefly easier, to Scott's relief. "I had got to fear that we were weakening badly in our pulling; those few minutes showed me that we only want a good surface to get along as merrily as of old. With the surface as it is, one gets horribly sick of the monotony and can easily imagine oneself getting played out, were it not that at the lunch and night camps one so quickly forgets all one's troubles and bucks up for a fresh effort. It is an effort to keep up the double figures, but if we can do so for another four marches we ought to get through. It is going to be a close thing." [1]

"At camping to-night everyone was chilled and we guessed a cold snap, but to our surprise the actual temperature was higher than last night, when we could dawdle in the sun. It is most unaccountable why we should suddenly feel the cold in this manner; partly the exhaustion of the march, but partly some damp quality in the air, I think."


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 12 January, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.

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