–from Dr. Edward Atkinson’s account published 1913 in “Scott’s Last Expedition”–
“On the 19th the plans for the Southern journey were laid before the other members. Debenham, who has been suffering from an old knee injury at fooball, and Archer were the two members who would have to stay by the hut.
“It was a sad blow to both of them to realise their position, but they accepted it cheerfully. The plan was to provide enough provisions to enable two parties, each a unit of four, to ascend the Beardmore Glacier, and two dog teams with a unit of three men to return from some point not as yet settled. Of the men ascending the glacier, four were to remain at the Cloudmaker and collect geological speciemens, photograph, and to do survey work. They would then proceed to the foot of the glacier and continue doing this same work until the return of the others, for all this time they were needed as a support for the advance party.
“This advance party, the other unit of four, would ascend to the top of the glacier if it was necessary to go so far. On their return to the foot of the glaicier both units would march home. At this time it was believed by most of us that an accident had occurred to the Southern Party, probably at the lower reaches of the Beardmore, in bad weather, and that sickness had nothing to do with the disaster.
“As there was no food in either for dogs, mules or men in any of the depots, the initial starting weights would have to be very large. To help as far as possible, sokme small depot journeys would be made in the spring. During the whole winter so far the cheerfulness of the party had been splendid under the most trying conditions, but there now seemed an added sprightliness with the return of light.”