The team enjoyed some fine weather today which makes a pleasant change from the last few days. 13.7 nm covered which keeps them on target to reach Shackleton's "Furthest South" on Friday.
Henry Adams comments on the effects of the altitude - they are now at about the highest point of the entire route, at 10,146 feet, but because of the lower barometric pressure at high latitudes, the effect of the altitude can be increased by an additional 23% meaning that the body feels that it is at something approaching 13,000 ft. See this article for more detail.
1. Sitrep No 55 as at 1250 hrs GMT 07 Jan 09
2. Distance Covered Today : 13.7 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 674.3 nm
4. Hours travelled: 7.5
5. Daily Average to Date: 12.26 nm
6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 2
7. Distance to RV: 26.49 nm
8. Distance to Pole: 116.49 nm
9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 13.25 nm
10. Altitude: 10146 Ft ASL
A blinding, shrieking blizzard all day, with the temperature ranging from 60° to 70° of frost. It has been impossible to leave the tent, which is snowed up on the lee side. We have been lying in our bags all day, only warm at food time, with fine snow making through the walls of the worn tent and covering our bags. We are greatly cramped. Adams is suffering from cramp every now and then. We are eating our valuable food without marching.
The wind has been blowing eighty to ninety miles an hour. We can hardly sleep. Tomorrow I trust this will be over. Directly the wind drops we march as far south as possible, then plant the flag, and turn homeward. Our chief anxiety is lest our tracks may drift up, for to them we must trust mainly to find our depot; we have no land bearings in this great plain of snow. It is a serious risk that we have taken, but we had to play the game to the utmost, and Providence will look after us.
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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