December 1, 1911

On this date Scott’s party, their rate of travel determined by the speed of their horse transport, have been on the trail for one month.  At 81 degrees South latitude, they have come about 350 miles, less than half the distance from Cape Evans to the South Pole.  Having closed with the Trans-Antarctic Mountains, they are nearing the mouth of the Beardmore Glacier and the end of the Barrier stage of their journey to the pole and back.

Amundsen, moving much faster with his dog-teams, is about three hundred miles farther along on his own track to the South Pole.  His men are almost on the polar plateau near the end of the crevasse fields at the source of the Axel Heiberg Glacier.

From Amundsen’s account:

“The storm continued unabated on the following day, and on account of the dangerous nature of the ground we decided to wat awhile.  In the course of the morning–towards noon, perhaps–the wind dropped a little, and out we went.  The sun peeped through at times, and we tood the welcome opportunity of getting an altitude–86 degrees 47′ was the result.

“At this camp we left behind all our delightful reindeer-skin clothing, as we could see that we should have no use for it, the temperature being far too high. . . . Our day’s march was not to be a long one; the little slackening of the wind about midday was only a joke.  It soon came on again in earnest, with a sweeping blizzard from the same quarter–the south-east. . . . The temperature when we camped was -5.8.  Height above the sea, 9,780 feet.”


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