Day 45

Daily Distance:
Total Distance:
159° 45' / 85° 24'

Read the Journal Entry for Day 45

Shackleton Centenary Expedition

Latest Expedition Update:

Day 46, 29 December Distance travelled: 549.2 nmi Temperature: -35 °C Conditions: Low cloud, v poor visibility. Read Journal Entry
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Day 45 December 28, 2008

The team's first day on the polar plateau was rewarded with their worst white out yet - very low cloud cover meant poor visibility, with the shadows cast from the clouds at one stage turning the landscap black and white.

Having said that, the guys still manged 15.7 nm and they seem to have passed the land of crevasses. They are 5 days behind Shackleton at his point but look to have a smoother run in to the last 97 mile point than Shackleton who was further to the East, and facing major crevasse fields.


1. Sitrep No 45 as at 0728 hrs GMT 28 Dec 08
2. Distance Covered Today : 15.7 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 534.6 nm
4. Hours travelled: 7
5. Daily Average to Date: 11.88nm
6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 12
7. Distance to RV: 159.19 nm
8. Distance to Pole: 256.19 nm
9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 13.27 nm 

December 28th, 1908

If the Barrier is a changing sea, the plateau is a changing sky. During the morning march we continued to go up hill steadily, but the surface-was constantly changing. First there was soft snow in layers, then soft snow so deep that we were well over our ankles, and the temperature being well below zero, our feet were cold through sinking in. No one can say what we are going to find next, but we can go steadily ahead. We started at 6:55 A.M., and had done 7 miles 200 yards by noon, the pulling being very hard. Some of the snow is blown into hard sastrugi, some that look perfectly smooth and hard have only a thin crust through which we break when pulling; all of it is a trouble.

Yesterday we passed our last crevasse, though there are a few cracks or ridges fringed with crystals shining like diamonds, warning us that the cracks are open. We are now 10,199 ft. above sea level, and the plateau is gradually flattening out, but it was heavy work pulling this afternoon. The high altitude and a temperature of 48° of frost made breathing and work difficult. We are getting south--latitude 86° 31' South tonight. The last sixty miles we hope to rush, leaving everything possible, taking one tent only and using the poles of the other as marks every ten miles, for we will leave all our food sixty miles off the Pole except enough to carry us there and back. I hope with good weather to reach the Pole on January 12, and then we will try and rush it to get to Hut Point by February 28.

We are so tired after each hour's pulling that we throw ourselves on our backs for a three minute spell. It took us over ten hours to do 14 miles 450 yards today, but we did it all right. It is a wonderful thing to be over 10,000 ft. up, almost at the end of the world. The short food is trying, but when we have done the work we will be happy. Adams had a bad headache all yesterday, and today I had the same trouble, but it is better now. Otherwise we are all fit and well. I think the country is flattening out more and more, and hope tomorrow to make fifteen miles, at least.

Day 45 Report

  1. Day 45 Report
  2. Day 45 Sitrep

Day 45: Overview

Distance covered:
15.7 nm
5 mph
Light snow flurries, very low cloud, poor visibility

The Heart of the Antarctic

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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