January 19, 2012

Friday, 19 January 1912


Picking up a Norwegian cairn and their own tracks, the Polar party soon came to the black flag they had seen three days earlier; they took it now as a yard for their sail. "So that is the last of the Norwegians for the present," Scott wrote rather grimly. [1]

They had seven days' food with them, with a further four days' worth cached at their final depot of 15th January, and a week's depoted on the 10th. Their outward journey had taken them sixteen days.

Lashly, outside the hut at Cape Evans, photographed by Debenham in 1912. [2]

With Lt. Evans suffering badly from snow-blindness, Lashly was now leading the party, through a maze of ghastly pressure ice and crevasses ("Dont want many days like this," he had written on the 17th). At the Mid-Glacier depot, they put everything in order and started off for the next one, at the foot of the Beardmore. "I picked some rock to-day which I intend to try and get back with, as it is the only chance we have had of getting any up to the present, and it seemed a funny thing: the rock I got some pieces of looked as if someone before me had been chipping some off. I wonder if it was the Doctor's party [Atkinson's], but we could not see any trace of their sledge, but we could account for that, as it was all blue ice and not likely to leave any marks behind. After travelling for some distance we got on the same ridge as we ran along on the outward Journey and passed what we took to be the Doctor's Xmas Camp. We had not gone far past before we got into soft snow, so we decided to camp for lunch.... Last night we left a note for Capt. Scott, but did not say much about our difficulties just above the Cloudmaker, as it would be better to tell him when we see him." [3]


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 19 January, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.
[2] Scott Polar Research Institute.
[3] William Lashly, diary, 19 January, 1912, quoted by Apsley Cherry-Garrard in The Worst Journey in the World, ch.XII.

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