January 13, 2012

Saturday, 13 January 1912


"It is wearisome work this tugging and straining to advance a light sledge," Scott wrote. "We should be in a poor way without our ski, though Bowers manages to struggle through the soft snow without tiring his short legs." [1]

On their way back to Cape Evans, Lashly wrote, "This has been a very bad day for us, what with ice-falls and crevasses." They had left their crampons at Mt. Darwin on the way out, and Crean had lost his ski pole down a crevass the day before. "We feel all full up to-night. The strain is tremendous some days. We are camped, but not at the depôt, but we hope to pick it up some time to-morrow. We shall be glad to get off the Summit, as the temperature is very low. We expected the party would have reached the Pole yesterday, providing they had anything of luck." [2]


Bad weather -- snowstorms, gales, fog -- meant that the Norwegians were essentially feeling their way from one cairn to the next, but they made twenty to thirty miles a day, at a speed of about three miles per hour. The dogs were put on double rations of pemmican, seal meat, biscuit, even chocolate, in order to lighten the loads, as the depots were by now superfluous.


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 13 January, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.
[2] William Lashly, diary, 13 January, 1912, quoted by Apsley Cherry-Garrard in The Worst Journey in the World, ch.XII.

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