Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 December, 1911

Camp 34

We have had a hard day, and during the forenoon it was my team which made the heaviest weather of the work. We got bogged again and again, and do what we would, the sledge dragged like lead. The others were working hard but nothing compared to us. At 2:30 I halted for lunch, pretty well cooked, and there was disclosed the secret of our trouble in a thin film with some hard knots of ice on the runners.

It is evident that what I expected has occurred. The whole of the lower valley is filled with snow from the recent storm, and if we had not had ski we should be hopelessly bogged. On foot one sinks to the knees, and if pulling on a sledge, to halfway between knee and thigh. It would therefore be absolutely impossible to advance  on foot with our loads. Considering all things, we are getting better on ski. A crust is forming over the soft snow. In a week or so I have little doubt it will be strong enough to support sledges and men. At present it carries neither properly. Needless to say the hauling is terrible.

There is a remarkable difference in temperature between day and night - +33 when we started, and with our hard work we were literally soaked through with perspiration. It is now +23. Evans's party kept up much better today; we had their shoes in our tent this morning, and PO Evans put them into shape again.

One would think they'd been doing this pulling for weeks longer than us.

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