"We started at 7.30," Scott wrote, "none of us having slept much after the shock of our discovery. We followed the Norwegian sledge tracks for some way; as far as we make out there are only two men." 
After about three miles, they decided that the tracks were heading too far to the west, and struck off on their own, with a force 4 to 6 wind in their faces and a temperature of -22°, the coldest march Wilson could remember. Evans' hands were now so badly frostbitten that they had to stop early for lunch. "It was a very bitter day," wrote Wilson. "Sun was out now and again, and observations taken .... The weather was not clear, the air was full of crystals driving towards us as we came south, and making the horizon grey and thick and hazy." 
At about 6.30 in the evening, they made camp.
"The POLE," Scott wrote dismally. "Yes, but under very different circumstances from those expected. We have had a horrible day -- add to our disappointment a head wind 4 to 5, with a temperature -22°.... [There] is very little that is different from the awful monotony of past days. Great God! this is an awful place and terrible enough for us to have laboured to it without the reward of priority." 
"We could see no sign of cairn or flag," Wilson wrote, "and from Amundsen's direction of tracks this morning he has probably hit a point about 3 miles off. We hope for clear weather to-morrow, but in any case are all agreed that he can claim prior right to the Pole itself. He has beaten us in so far as he made a race of it. We have done what we came for all the same and as our programme was made out."
"What a place to strive so hard to reach," wrote Bowers. "It is sad that we have been forestalled by the Norwegians but I am glad that we have done it by good British manhauling." 
"Well, it is something to have got here," Scott finished, "and the wind may be our friend to-morrow. We have had a fat Polar hoosh in spite of our chagrin, and feel comfortable inside -- added a small stick of chocolate and the queer taste of a cigarette brought by Wilson. Now for the run home and a desperate struggle to get the news through first. I wonder if we can do it." 
"Skiing brilliant," Amundsen wrote. "Grainy snow. Hard upper crust, which the skis float over. Rather heavy for the dogs, as they break through." The packing-case markers stood out clearly, with almost no drift. "Pitched our tent at 81° 30' S lat. It was 30 nautical miles today." 
 R. F. Scott, diary, 17 January, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expeditionv. v.1.
 E.A. Wilson, diary, 17 January, 1912, quoted by Apsley Cherry-Garrard in The Worst Journey in the World, ch.13.
 R. F. Scott, diary, 17 January, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.
 H.R. Bowers, 17 January, 1912, quoted by David Crane in Scott of the Antarctic (New York : Knopf, c2005), p.487.
 R. F. Scott, diary, 17 January, 1912, quoted by Roland Huntford in Race for the South Pole : the expedition diaries of Scott and Amundsen (London : Continuum, c2010), p.248. The phrase "to get the news through first" was omitted from the official version of Scott's diary.
 Roald Amundsen, diary, 18 January, 1912, quoted by Roland Huntford in Race for the South Pole : the expedition diaries of Scott and Amundsen (London : Continuum, c2010), p.248.