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Scott's Last Expedition

Thursday, December 14th 1911

Camp 36. Indigestion and the soggy condition of my clothes kept me awake for some time last night, and the exceptional exercise gives bad attacks of cramp. Our lips are getting raw and blistered. The eyes of the party are improving, I am glad to say. We are just starting our march with no very hopeful outlook. (T. + 13º.)

Evening. (Height about 2000 feet.) Evans’ party started first this morning; for an hour they found the hauling stiff, but after that, to my great surprise, they went on easily. Bowers followed without getting over the ground so easily. After the first 200 yards my own party came on with a swing that told me at once that all would be well. We soon caught the others and offered to take on more weight, but Evans’ pride wouldn’t allow such help. Later in the morning we exchanged sledges with Bowers, pulled theirs easily, whilst they made quite heavy work with ours. I am afraid Cherry-Garrard and Keohane are the weakness of that team, though both put their utmost into the traces. However, we all lunched together after a satisfactory morning’s work. In the afternoon we did still better, and camped at 6.30 with a very marked change in the land bearings. We must have come 11 or 12 miles (stat.). We got fearfully hot on the march, sweated through everything and stripped off jerseys. The result is we are pretty cold and clammy now, but escape from the soft snow and a good march compensate every discomfort. At lunch the blue ice was about 2 feet beneath us, now it is barely a foot, so that I suppose we shall soon find it uncovered. To-night the sky is overcast and wind has been blowing up the glacier. I think there will be another spell of gloomy weather on the Barrier, and the question is whether this part of the glacier escapes. There are crevasses about, one about eighteen inches across outside Bowers’ tent, and a narrower one outside our own. I think the soft snow trouble is at an end, and I could wish nothing better than a continuance of the present surface. Towards the end of the march we were pulling our loads with the greatest ease. It is splendid to be getting along and to find some adequate return for the work we are putting into the business.

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