December 8, 1912: On the slopes of Mt. Erebus

–from Tryggve Gran’s account The Norwegian with Scott

[Gran was a member of the team making the second-ever ascent of the smoking volcano Erebus]

8 December.  We have reached 8,000 ft. and the old crater lies behind us.  The glacier lying along the base is heavily seracced and full of precipices and crevasses.  We have ascended into a veritable Alpine landscape.  From this point we have a wonderful view over the mountains in the west, and we have seen a series of hitherto undiscovered tops west of Mt. Tryggve Gran.  We are really conscious of climbing now–the least effort takes our breath away.  The air pressure is 21.5 in, much lower than at such heights in our [Norwegian] latitudes.  The temperature is fallin; in the night it was below -20 C.”


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