Sunday, December 5, 2010

4 December, 1911

Camp 29, again. 9AM.

Roused the hands at 6, but the weather grew heavy; a glance outside after breakfast showed a white floury blizzard. We have been all been out building fresh walls for the ponies -- an uninviting task, but one which greatly adds to the comfort of the animals, who look sleepy and bored, but not at all cold. The dogs came up with us as we camped last night and the manhaulers arrived this morning as we finished the pony wall. So we are all together again.

It is utterly impossible to push ahead in this weather, and one is at a complete loss to account for it. Well, one must stick it out, that is all, and hope for better things, but it makes me feel a little bitter to contrast such weather with that experienced by our predecessors.

By which I mean why should Shackleton have gotten the good weather we wanted? Why?

Camp 30.

The wind fell in the forenoon. By 1 the sun shone, and by 2 pm we were away. We camped here at 8pm. The land was quite clear throughout the march and the features easily recognized. The mountains are rounded in outline, very massive, with small excrescent peaks and undeveloped "cwms." Ahead of us is the ice-rounded, boulder-strewn Mount Hope and the gateway to the Glacier. We should reach it easily enough on tomorrow's march if we can compass 12 miles. I get the impression the rest rather resent those of us who travel on ski.

The ponies marched splendidly today, crossing the deep snow in the undulations without difficulty. They must be in very much better condition than Shackleton's animals, and indeed there isn't a doubt they would go many miles yet if food allowed. The dogs are simply splendid, but came in wanting food, so we had to sacrifice poor little Michael, who, like the rest, had lots of fat on him. All the tents are consuming pony flesh and thoroughly enjoying it. What we don't eat we give to the dogs. I suppose we ought to depot it, but I can't imagine we'll need it on the return journey.

We have only lost 5 or 6 miles on these two wretched days, but the disturbed condition of the weather makes me anxious with regard to the Glacier, where more than anywhere we shall need fine days. One has a horrid feeling that this is a real bad season. However, sufficient for the stage is the evil thereof. We are practically through with the first stage of our journey.

I wonder what route Amundsen is taking.

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