February 5, 1912: The polar party’s slow decline

–from Edward Wilson’s diary–

“Sun 4 Feb. . . .Since the last depot we have been having extra food, making a week last 6 days, I believe, and we are grateful for it, 4 biscuits for lunch and fat hooshes always now.  Evans is feeling the cold a lot always getting frost bitten.  Titus’ toes are blackening and his nose and cheeks are dead yellow.  Dressing Evans’ fingers every other day with boric vaseline–they are quite sweet still.

“Mon 5 Feb.  18.2 m.

“We had a difficult day getting in among a frightful chaos of broad chasm-like crevasses.  We kept too far east and had to wind in and out amongst them and cross a multitude of bridges.  We then bore west a bit and got on better all the afternoon and got round a good deal of the upper disturbance of the falls here.  We ought to have gone west of the big hump (see yesterday) and we should have missed all today;s trouble.  The weather was perfect–cloudless blue sky and sun [illegible] breeze most of the day and none at camping.  We camped for the night on hard snow among crevasses.

“Evans fingers suppurating;, nose very bad and rotten looking.  Land well in sight today.  Mt. Darwin, Buckley, Dominion Range, Flat Tops, Kirkpatrick etc.  The falls are all formed of large open crevasses.”

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