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Scott's Last Expedition

Sunday, January 21st 1912

R. 4. 10,010. Temp, blizzard, -18º to -11º, to -14º now. Awoke to a stiff blizzard; air very thick with snow and sun very dim. We decided not to march owing to likelihood of losing track; expected at least a day of lay up, but whilst at lunch there was a sudden clearance and wind dropped to light breeze. We got ready to march, but gear was so iced up we did not get away till 3.45. Marched till 7.40 – a terribly weary four-hour drag; even with helping wind we only did 5 1/2 miles (6 1/4 statute). The surface bad, horribly bad on new sastrugi, and decidedly rising again in elevation.

We are going to have a pretty hard time this next 100 miles I expect. If it was difficult to drag downhill over this belt, it will probably be a good deal more difficult to drag up. Luckily the cracks are fairly distinct, though we only see our cairns when less than a mile away; 45 miles to the next depot and 6 days’ food in hand – then pick up 7 days’ food (T. -22º) and 90 miles to go to the ‘Three Degree’ Depot. Once there we ought to be safe, but we ought to have a day or two in hand on arrival and may have difficulty with following the tracks. However, if we can get a rating sight for our watches to-morrow we shall be independent of the tracks at a pinch.

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