Oates's feet were so swollen that it took an hour to get them into his finnesko each morning.
They were now struggling nine or more hours to manage six or seven miles a day.
"Poor Oates is unable to pull, sits on the sledge when we are track-searching -- he is wonderfully plucky, as his feet must be giving him great pain. He makes no complaint, but his spirits only come up in spurts now, and he grows more silent in the tent. We are making a spirit lamp to try and replace the primus when our oil is exhausted. It will be a very poor substitute and we've not got much spirit. If we could have kept up our 9-mile days we might have got within reasonable distance of the depot before running out, but nothing but a strong wind and good surface can help us now, and though we had quite a good breeze this morning, the sledge came as heavy as lead. If we were all fit I should have hopes of getting through, but the poor Soldier has become a terrible hindrance, though he does his utmost and suffers much I fear." 
 R.F. Scott, diary, 6 March, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.