January 5, 1911: Return of the Last supporting Party–a beginning

–from “South with Scott,” Lt. Edward Evans’ account–

“After the first day’s homeward march, I realized that the nine hours’ marching day was insufficient.  We had to make average daily marches of 17 miles in order to remain on full provisions whilst returning over that featureless snow-capped plateau.

“Although the first day northward bound was radiantly fine and and the traveling surface  all that could be disired, we were compelled to push on until quite late to ensure covering the prescribed distance–for a short march on the first day would have augured a gloomy future for us.

“Reluctant as I was to confess it to myself, I soon realized the the ceding of one man from my party had been too great a sacrifice, but there was no denying it, and I was eventually compelled to explain the situation to Lashly and Crean and lay bare  the naked truth.  No man was ever better served than I was by these two; they cheerfully accepted the inevitable, and throughout our homeward march the three of us literally stole minutes and seconds from each day to add to our marches, but it was a fight for life.

“The rarified air made our breathing more difficult, and we suffered from shortness of breath whenever the inequalities of the surface became severe, and sudden jerks conveyed themselves to our tired bodies through the medium of the rope traces.”

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