Sunday, February 13, 2011

13 February, 1912

We are camped beside the Cloudmaker. Temperature minus 10.

Last night we all slept well in spite of our grave anxieties. For my part these were increased by my visits outside the tent, when I saw the sky gradually closing over and snow beginning to fall. By our ordinary time for getting up it was dense all around us. We could see nothing, and we could only remain in our sleeping bags. At 8:30 I dimly made out the land of the Cloudmaker. At 9 we got up, deciding to have tea, and with one biscuit, no pemmican, so as to leave our scanty meal for eventualities.

We started marching, and at first had to wind our way through an awful turmoil of broken ice, but in about an hour we hot an old moraine track, brown with dirt. Here the surface was much smoother and improved rapidly.  The fog still hung all over and we went on for an hour, checking our bearings. Then the whole place got smoother and we turned outward a little. Evans raised our hopes with a shout of a depot ahead, but it proved to be a shadow on the ice.

Then Wilson saw the actual depot flag. It was an immense relief, and we were soon in possession of our 3 1/2 days' food. The relief to all is inexpressible; needless to say, we camped and had a good meal.

Marching in the afternoon I kept to the left, and closed the mountain till we fell on the stone moraines. Here Wilson detached himself and made a collection, whilst we pulled the sledge on. We camped late, abreast of the lower end of the mountain, and had nearly our usual satisfying supper.

Yesterday was the worst experience of the trip and gave a horrid feeling of insecurity. Now we are right up, we must march. In the future food must be worked so that we do not run so short if the weather fails us. We mustn't get into a hole like this again.

Greatly relieved to find that both the other parties got through safely. It promises to be a fine day tomorrow. The valley is gradually clearing. Bowers has had a bad attack of snow blindness, and Wilson another almost as bad. Evans has no power to assist with camping work.

Wish I didn't have to keep getting up to relieve myself so often in the night.

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