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Scott's Last Expedition

Wednesday, January 10th 1912

Camp 62. T. -11º. Last depot 88º 29′ S.; 159º 33′ E.; Var. 180º. Terrible hard march in the morning; only covered 5.1 miles (geo.). Decided to leave depot at lunch camp. Built cairn and left one week’s food together with sundry articles of clothing. We are down as close as we can go in the latter. We go forward with eighteen days’ food. Yesterday I should have said certain to see us through, but now the surface is beyond words, and if it continues we shall have the greatest difficulty to keep our march long enough. The surface is quite covered with sandy snow, and when the sun shines it is terrible. During the early part of the afternoon it was overcast, and we started our lightened sledge with a good swing, but during the last two hours the sun cast shadows again, and the work was distressingly hard. We have covered only 10.8 miles (geo.).

Only 85 miles (geo.) from the Pole, but it’s going to be a stiff pull both ways apparently; still we do make progress, which is something. To-night the sky is overcast, the temperature (-11º) much higher than I anticipated; it is very difficult to imagine what is happening to the weather. The sastrugi grow more and more confused, running from S. to E. Very difficult steering in uncertain light and with rapidly moving clouds. The clouds don’t seem to come from anywhere, form and disperse without visible reason. The surface seems to be growing softer. The meteorological conditions seem to point to an area of variable light winds, and that plot will thicken as we advance.

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