1. Sitrep No 32 as at 0855 hrs GMT 15 Dec 08
2. Distance Covered Today : 01.3 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 383.4 nm
4. Hours travelled: 1
5. Daily Average to Date: 11.98 nm
6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 26
7. Distance to RV: 310.39 nm
8. Distance to Pole: 407.39 nm
9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 11.94 nm
Started at 7:40 A.M. in clear weather. It was heavy going uphill on the blue ice, but gradually we rose the land ahead, and it seemed as though at last we were going to have a change, and that we would see something new. At lunchtime we were on a better surface, with patches of snow, and we could see stretching out in front of us what was apparently a long, wide plain. It looked as though now really we were coming to the level ground for which we have longed, especially as the hypsometer gave us an altitude of 7230 ft., but this altitude at night came down to 5830 ft., so the apparent height may be due to barometric pressure and change of weather, for in the afternoon a stiff breeze from the southwest sprang up.
The temperature was plus 18°F at noon, and when the wind came up it felt cold, as we were pulling in our pajama trousers, with nothing underneath. We have been going steadily uphill all the afternoon, but on a vastly improved surface, consisting of hard neve instead of blue ice and no cracks, only covered in crevasses, which are easily seen. Ahead of us really lies the plateau. We can also see ahead of us detached mountains, piercing through the inland ice, which is the road to the south for us. Huge mountains stretch out to the east and west. After last week's toil and anxiety the change is delightful. The distance covered today was 13 miles 200 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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