New Years Day 1911: Antarctic Explorers

[On this day Scott’s and Amundsen’s teams were separated by about one hundred twenty miles, and were  as close together as they ever came on their different routes to their common goal.  Amundsen was on his way back to Framheim at the Bay of Whales, sixteen days along on his homeward journey.  Scott was still outward bound, with seventeen days yet to go before reaching the South Pole.]

–from Amundsen’s account–

“On January 1 we ought, according to our reckoning, to reach the Devil’s Glacier, and this held good.  We could see it at a great distance; huge hummocks and ice-waves towered into the sky.  But what astonished us was that between these disturbances and on the far side of them, we seemed to see and even, unbroken plain, entirely unaffected by the broken surface. . . .But it was once more the atmosphere that deceived us, as we found out on the following day, for instead of being nearer the range that we had come out farther from it.”

–from Scott’s diary–

“. . . . It was surprising how easily the sledge pulled; we have scarcely exerted ourselves all day.

“We have been rising again all day, but the slopes are less accentuated.  I had expected trouble with the ski and hard patches, but we found none at all.  (T. -14 degrees.)  The temperature is steadily falling, but it seems to fall with the wind.  We are very comfortable in our double tent.  Stick of chocolate to celebrate the new year.  supporting party not in very high spirits, they have not managed matters well for themselves.  Prospects seem to get brighter–only 170 miles to go and plenty of food left.”

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