"A dreadfully trying day," wrote Scott. "Light wind from the N.N.W. bringing detached cloud and constant fall of ice crystals. The surface, in consequence, as bad as could be after the first hour.... The sastrugi seemed to increase as we advanced and they have changed direction from S.W. to S. by W. In the afternoon a good deal of confusing cross sastrugi, and to-night a very rough surface with evidences of hard southerly wind. Luckily the sledge shows no signs of capsizing yet." 
The temperatures here at 10,400 ft. (3170 m) averaged -21° F (-30° C).
"Cooking for five," he added, "takes a seriously longer time than cooking for four; perhaps half an hour on the whole day. It is an item I had not considered when reorganising."
"We go little over a mile and a quarter an hour now.... What lots of things we think of on these monotonous marches! What castles one builds now hopefully that the Pole is ours."
The Axel Heiberg Glacier, looking up towards the Polar Plateau, taken from the air on an unknown date. 
Amundsen, not immune to the beauties of his surroundings, stood for a long time before setting off for the day, contemplating the mountains. Above Mount Ole Engelstad, he wrote in his diary, "lay a little cirrus cloud, gold-edged in the morning sun. And over there lies Håkonshallen partly illuminated, partly in the shade. If only I could paint!" 
After a stomach-lurching moment when Bjaaland, in front as usual, came abruptly to a stop with the tips of his skis over the edge of the upper ice falls with apparently empty space below, the going was easy. "Loose snow," Amundsen noted, "so that the ski sank about 2 inches: iced and grainy so that the skis glided as if on a greased surface.... We tore down like a rushing wind. A wonderful sport."
"I had many good runs," Bjaaland noted, "and raced with the Captain." 
The dog drivers did not have quite so much fun, with their loaded sledges and the dogs sinking to their knees in the loose snow, but they descended the 4,500 feet in eleven and a half miles, to camp where they had done 47 days earlier.
"Thank God we are back in the lowlands," wrote Bjaaland, "and can breathe in a decent way ... after 6 weeks' hard existence in the dry cold air." 
 R.F. Scott, diary, 5 January 1912, quoted by Roland Huntford in Race for the South Pole : the expedition diaries of Scott and Amundsen (London : Continuum, c2010), p.223-224.
 Blue~Canoe, at Flickr.
 Roald Amundsen, diary, 6 January, 1912, quoted by Roland Huntford in Race for the South Pole : the expedition diaries of Scott and Amundsen (London : Continuum, c2010), p.226. Håkonshallen was later renamed Mount Don Pedro Christophersen, after Amundsen's benefactor.
 Olav Bjaaland, diary, 6 January, 1912, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.504.
 Olav Bjaaland, diary, 5-6 January, 1912, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.505.