Camp 44, about 7100 feet. T. -1º. Bar. 22.3. This, the third stage of our journey, is opening with good promise. We made our depot this morning, then said an affecting farewell to the returning party, who have taken things very well, dear good fellows as they are.
Then we started with our heavy loads about 9.20, I in some trepidation – quickly dissipated as we went off and up a slope at a smart pace. The second sledge came close behind us, showing that we have weeded the weak spots and made the proper choice for the returning party.
We came along very easily and lunched at 1, when the sledge-meter had to be repaired, and we didn’t get off again till 3.20, camping at 6.45. Thus with 7 hours’ marching we covered 10 1/2 miles (geo.) (12 stat.).
Obs.: Lat. 85º 13 1/2′; Long. 161º 55′; Var. 175º 46′ E.
To-morrow we march longer hours, about 9 I hope. Every day the loads will lighten, and so we ought to make the requisite progress. I think we have climbed about 250 feet to-day, but thought it more on the march. We look down on huge pressure ridges to the south and S.E., and in fact all round except in the direction in which we go, S.W. We seem to be travelling more or less parallel to a ridge which extends from Mt. Darwin. Ahead of us to-night is a stiffish incline and it looks as though there might be pressure behind it. It is very difficult to judge how matters stand, however, in such a confusion of elevations and depressions. This course doesn’t work wonders in change of latitude, but I think it is the right track to clear the pressures – at any rate I shall hold it for the present.
We passed one or two very broad (30 feet) bridged crevasses with the usual gaping sides; they were running pretty well in N. and S. direction. The weather has been beautifully fine all day as it was last night. (Night Temp. -9º.) This morning there was an hour or so of haze due to clouds from the N. Now it is perfectly clear, and we get a fine view of the mountain behind which Wilson has just been sketching.