November 17,1912: Mawson, Mertz and Ninnis head out on the trail

–from Douglas Mawson’s account The Home of the Blizzard

“Madigan’s and Stillwell’s parties broke trail to the east on the morning of the 17th, while we were still attending to the sledges and dogs preparatory to departure. . . . We then went in pursuit of the other six men over a surface of rough sastrugi.  The dogs, who were in fine fettle, barking with joy, rushed the sledges along making frantic efforts to catch up to the parties ahead, who showed as black specks across the white undulating plain.

“At noon all luched together, after which we parted, shaking hands warmly all round and interchaning the sledgers’ “Good Luck!”  Our dogs drew away rapidly to the east, travelling on a slight down grade; the other two parties with their man-hauled sledges following in the same direction.

“The surface was splendid and the weather conditions ideal.”


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