Thursday, December 23, 2010

21 December, 1911

Camp 43 Upper Glacier Depot.
Latitude 85 degrees, 7 minutes. Longitude 163 degrees, 4 minutes. Height" about 8000 feet. Temperature: -2.

We climbed the slope this morning and found a very bad surface on top, as far as crevasses were concerned. We all had falls into them, Atkinson and Teddy Evans going down the length of their harness. Evans had rather a shake up. The rotten ice continued for a long way, though I crossed to and fro towards the land, trying to get on better ground.

At noon the wind came from the north, bringing the inevitable mist up the valley and covering us just as we were in the worst of places. We camped for lunch and were obliged to wait two and a half hours for a clearance. The sun began to struggle though and we were off. We soon got out of the worst crevasses and on to a long snow slope leading on part of Mount Darwin. It was a very long stiff pull up, and I held on till 7:30, when, the other team being some way astern, I camped. We have done a good march, risen to a satisfactory altitude, and reached a good place for our depot.

Tomorrow we start with our fullest summit load, and the first march should show us the possibilities of our achievement. The temperature has dropped below zero, but tonight it is so calm and bright that one feels delightfully warm and comfortable in the tent. Such weather helps greatly in the sorting arrangements, etc, which are going on tonight. For me it is an immense relief to have the indefatigable little Bowers to see to all the detail arrangements of this sort.

I have to write some letters to send back with the returning party. Have told Kathleen that I am exceedingly fit and can go with the best of them, and that we ought to get through. That will cheer her.

I keep thinking she will get these notes in time for Christmas, but of course she won't get them for a good many months yet.

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