15.2 nm covered today in 7 hours. The team are in good spirits, and have sighted for the first time today Mount Markham (named after Sir Clements Markham, the former President of the Royal Geographical Society who planned the 1901-1904 British National Antarctic Survey), and Mount Longstaff.
Will Gow notes that on November 23rd, when Shackleton's party had reached this point, this was the first time that these mountains had been sighted. Over the next few days the boys will be moving closer and closer towards them, looking to spend another two weeks on the ice shelf. Will goes on to thank Miller Insurance, one of our sponsors, and in particular Jeffrey Sale.
1. Sitrep No 23 as at 0823 hrs GMT 06 Dec 08
2. Distance Covered Today : 15.2 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 257.4 nm
4. Hours travelled: 7
5. Daily Average to Date: 11.01 nm
6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 36
7. Distance to RV: 451.49 nm
8. Distance to Pole: 548.49 nm
9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 12.54 nm
Started at 8 A.M. today in fine weather to get our loads over the half mile of crevassed ice that lay between us and the snow slope to the south southwest. We divided up the load and managed to get the whole lot over in three journeys, but it was an awful job, for every step was a venture, and I, with one eye entirely blocked up because of snow blindness, felt it particularly uncomfortable work. However, by 1 P.M. all our gear was safely over, and the other three went back for Socks. Wild led him, and by 2 P.M. we were all camped on the snow again. Providence has indeed looked after us. At 3 P.M. we started south southwest up a long slope to the right of the main glacier pressure. It was very heavy going, and we camped at 5 P.M. close to a huge crevasse, the snow bridge of which we crossed.
There is a wonderful view of the mountains, with new peaks and ranges to the southeast, south and southwest. There is a dark rock running in conjunction with the granite on several of the mountains. We are now over 1700 ft. up on the glacier, and can see down on to the Barrier. The cloud still hangs on the mountain ahead of us; it certainly looks as though it were a volcano cloud, but it may be due to condensation. The lower current clouds are traveling very fast from south southeast to north northwest. The weather is fine and clear, and the temperature plus 17°F.
This is the story of the “Farthest South” expedition, told by its leader. After enduring biting winds, short rations and crevasse-ridden glaciers for over a year, Shackleton’s party faced a desperate forced march to return to their ship, The Nimrod, or face being marooned on the ice.
Taken from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s own compelling chronicle of his first Antarctic expedition, written on his return in 1909.
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