Friday, December 10, 2010

10 December, 1911

Camp 32

There was much rearranging of loads to do from this point forth, so we did not get away before noon. The dogs carried 600 lbs of our weight besides the depot of 200 lbs. The day was gloriously fine and we were soon perspiring.  After the first mile we began to rise, and for some way on the steep slope we held to our ski and kept going. Then we had to take off our ski. The pulling after this was extraordinarily fatiguing. We sank to our knees everywhere, and the sledges sink to the crossbars in soft spots.

Evans's party cannot keep up. Wilson tells me some very alarming news: that Atkinson says Wright is getting played out and Lashly is not so fit as he was owing to the heavy pulling since the blizzard. I have not felt satisfied about this party. The finish of the march clearly showed that something was wrong. They fell a long way behind, had to take off ski, and took nearly half an hour to come up a few hundred yards. True, the surface was awful and growing worse every moment. It is a very serious business if the men are going to crack up. As for myself, I have never felt fitter, and my party can easily hold its own. P.O. Evans, of course, us a tower of strength, but Oates and Wilson are doing splendidly also.

Here where we are camped the snow is worse than I have ever seen it, but we are in a hollow. Hereabouts Shackleton found hard blue ice. It seems an extraordinary difference in fortune, and at every step his luck becomes more evident.

I take the dogs on for half a day tomorrow, then send them home. We are going to be forced to replay our loads if present conditions hold.

There is a strong wind down the glacier tonight.

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