January 20, 1912: Scott’s Polar Party Heads for Home

–from Dr. Edward Wilson’s sledging diary–

“Sat 20 Jan.  16.1 m geog.

“Blowing 4-5 from the S.S.W.  and from time to time overcast but too much sun and moving sandy drifts at this temp. for good going–they refused to allow the ski to glide at all.  One had to shove them over.  The going was irregular and not uncomfortable but we made 9.3 miles by lunch in 5 hours 10 minutres, when we reached 66-1/2 camp where we had left a depot ‘The last depot’.

“We passed camp 67 in the forenoon march.  This afternoon we ought to pass camp 66 at about 7 miles from this depot.  Snow was falling all forenoon again in minute little collections of spicules, but made a very grey mist all round and gave a complete double halo.  The lower edge of the inner ring just touching the horizon.  One has to wear snow goggles always up here especially now that we are walking into the sun.

“We picked up a bamboo here used as our depot flag and discarded Amundsen’s ‘Pole’–from which I took a number of hickory splinters.  We go on from this depot with just 7 days’ provisions for the next 50 miles when we pick up our 1-1/2 degree depot. . . .

“[Petty Officer Edgar] Evans has got 4 or 5 of his finger tips badly blistered by the cold.  Titus also his nose and cheeks–so Evans and Bowers.”

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