1. Sitrep No 29 as at 0905 hrs GMT 12 Dec 08
2. Distance Covered Today : 13.5 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 350.8 nm
4. Hours travelled: 6
5. Daily Average to Date: 12.10 nm
6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 29
7. Distance to RV: 342.99 nm
8. Distance to Pole: 439.99 nm
9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 11.83 nm
Our distance--three miles for the day-- expresses more readily than I can write it the nature of the day's work. We started at 7:40 A.M. on the worst surface possible, sharp edged blue ice full of chasms and crevasses, rising to hills and descending into gullies; in fact, a surface that could not be equaled in any polar work for difficulty in traveling. Our sledges are suffering greatly, and it is a constant strain on us both to save the sledges from breaking or going down crevasses, and to save ourselves as well. We are a mass of bruises where we have fallen on the sharp ice, but, thank God, no one has even a sprain.
It has been relay work today, for we could only take on one sledge at a time, two of us taking turns at pulling the sledge whilst the others steadied and held the sledge to keep it straight. Thus we would advance one mile, and then return over the crevasses and haul up the other sledge. By repeating this today for three miles we marched nine miles over a surface where many times a slip meant death. Still we have advanced three miles to the south, and tonight we are camped on a patch of neve. By using our ice axes we made a place for the tent.
The weather is still splendidly fine, though low clouds obscure our horizon to the south. We are anxiously hoping to cross the main pressure tomorrow, and trust that we will then have better traveling. Given good traveling, we will not be long in reaching our goal. Marshall is putting in the bearings and angles of the new mountains. They still keep appearing to the west and east. Distance 3 miles 500 yards, with relays 9 miles 1500 yards.
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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