October 14-19, 1912: “A most terrible surface on the Barrier. . .” beyond Corner Camp

–from Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s account The Worst Journey in the World

“Meanwhile Atkinson and Dimitri took some mule-fodder and dog-biscuit to a point twelve miles south of Corner Camp.  They started on 14 October with the two dog-teams and found a most terrible surrface on the Barrier, the sledges sometimes sinking as far as the ‘fore-and-afters’; the minimum temperatures the first two nights were -39 and -25 F.’ a strong blizzard at Corner Camp; a lie-up for a day and a half, before they could push on in wind and drift and lay the depot.

“The dogs ran back from Corner Camp to Hut point on 19 October, a distance of thirty miles.  Three miles from Corner Camp three dogs of Atkinson’s team fell into a crevasse, one of them falling right down to the length of his harness.  The rest of the team, however,  pulled on, and dragged the three dogs out as they went.  Atkinson lost his driving-stick, which was left standing in the snow and served to mark a place to be avoided.  Altogether a rather lucky escape; two men out alone with two dog-teams are somewhat helpless in case of emergency.”

[This return journey was the same made by Tom Crean, on foot and utterly alone, the previous autumn when he saved the other two members of Scott’s Last Supporting Party.]

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