January 3 1912: Fateful Decision on the Plateau

–from Scott’s diary–

“Wednesday, January 3–Height:  Lunch 10,110; Night 10,180.  [Camp 56]  T. -17.  Minimum -18.5.  Within 150 miles of our goal.  Last night I decided to reorganise, and this morning told off Teddy Evans, Lashly, and Crean to return.  They are disappointed, but take it well.  Bowers comes to come into our tent, and we proceed as a five-man unit to-morrow.  We have 5-1/2 units of food–practically over a month’s allowance for five people–it ought to see us through.

“We came along well on ski to-day, but the foot-haulers were slow, and so we only got a trifle over 12 miles (geo.).  Very anxious to see how we shall manage to-morrow; if we can march well with the full load we shall be practically safe, I take it.  The surface was very bad in pathes to-day and the wind strong.

“Lat. 87 degrees 32′.  A last note from a hopeful position.  I think it’s going to be all right.  We have a fine party going  forward and arrangements are all going well.”



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