Another difficult day, very similar to the day before it, with 8.8 nm covered. Crampon trouble has necessitated the use of bits of rope, metal, anything in fact, that the team can get their hands on to aid them on their way south. Their progress seems to suggest that it is working.
With crevasses to the left and right of them as far as the eye can see, they have a 1 mile wide path or so which will hopefully see them through.
1. Sitrep No 37 as at 1015 hrs GMT 20 Dec 08
2. Distance Covered Today : 8.8 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 444.3 nm
4. Hours travelled: 6
5. Daily Average to Date: 12.01 nm
6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 21
7. Distance to RV: 249.49 nm
8. Distance to Pole: 346.49 nm
9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 11.88 nm
For a detailed map of the Beardmore Glacier, and the team's progress on it click here.
Not yet up, but nearly so. We got away from camp at 7 A.M., with a strong head wind from the south, and this wind continued all day, with a temperature ranging from plus 7° to plus 5°. Our beards coated with ice. It was an uphill pull all day around pressure ice, and we reached an altitude of over 8000 ft. above sea level. The weather was clear, but there were various clouds, which were noted by Adams. Marshall took bearings and angles at noon, and we got the sun's meridian altitude, showing that we were in latitude 85° 17' South.
We hope all the time that each ridge we come to will be the last, but each time another rises ahead, split up by pressure, and we begin the same toil again. It is trying work and as we have now reduced our food at breakfast to one pannikin of hoosh and one biscuit, by the time the lunch hour has arrived, after five hours' hauling in the cold wind up the slope, we are very hungry. At lunch we have a little chocolate, tea with plasmon, a pannikin of cocoa, and three biscuits. Today we did 11 miles, 950 yards (statute), having to relay the sledges over the last bit, for the ridge we were on was so steep that we could not get the two sledges up together. Still, we are getting on; we have only 279 more miles to go, and then we will have reached the Pole. The land appears to run away to the southeast now, and soon we will be just a speck on this great inland waste of snow and ice. It is cold tonight. I am cook for the week, and started tonight. Every one is fit and well.
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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