January 15, 2012

Monday, 15 January 1912


"My pemmican," Oates wrote in his diary, "must have disagreed with me at breakfast, for coming along I felt very depressed and homesick." [1]

At lunch they made their last depot at 89° 37' S, and pressed on.They had seen no trace of Amundsen, having taken it for granted that the Norwegians would follow the known route up the Beardmore. "It ought to be a certain thing now," wrote Scott, "and the only appalling possibility the sight of the Norwegian flag forestalling ours." [2]

Atkinson's returning party arrived at One Ton in the evening. At the depots all along the way, they had been finding "rather despondent" notes from Meares, reporting thick weather and short rations. He had killed one dog along the way, and taken a portion of biscuit and butter from the units in order to make it to the next depots. "The dogs had the ponies on which to feed," Cherry wrote later, "to make up the deficiency of man-food we went one biscuit a day short when going up the Beardmore: but the dogs went back slower than was estimated and his provisions were insufficient. It was evident that the dog-teams would arrive too late and be too done to take out the food which had still to be sledged to One Ton for the three parties returning from the plateau." [3]

"Judge therefore our joy when we reached One Ton ... to find three of the five XS rations which were necessary for the three parties. A man-hauling party consisting of Day, Nelson, Hooper and Clissold had brought out this food; they left a note saying the crevasses near Corner Camp were bad and open. Day and Hooper had reached Cape Evans from the Barrier on December 21: they started out again on this depôt-laying trip on December 26."

The Terra Nova was unable to collect the Second Western Geological Party because of ice.


Since they were now into a routine of a 15- to 20-mile run then eight hours' camp regardless of the time of day, they arrived at 82° 30' S at 1:30 in the morning, after 5 1/2 hours' "splendid skiing". [4] The temperatures of around -10° (-23 C) were so comparatively warm for the conditions that Amundsen found it "baking hot" in the tent.


[1] L.E.G. Oates, diary, 15 January, 1912, quoted by by Sue Limb and Patrick Cordingly in Captain Oates, Soldier and Explorer (London : Batsford, 1982), p.157.
[2] R.F. Scott, diary, 15 January, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.
[3] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, in The Worst Journey in the World, ch.XII.
[4] Roald Amundsen, diary, quoted by Roland Huntford in Race for the South Pole : the expedition diaries of Scott and Amundsen (London : Continuum, c2010), p.244.

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