Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, February 19, 1915: On the South Polar Trail

–from Ernest Joyce’s account “The South Polar Trail”–

“February 19th. We have been plodding on the trail by putting in our ten hours a day, the average mileage being about five miles a day. The afternoon of the 19th we were sinking in the soft snow up to our waists; when we camped we were wet through with persperation, which causes a cold sleepless night in the sleeping-bags. The dogs had a gruelling day; gave them an extra feed.”

“February 20th. Surface similar to yesterday. Came on to the bearings of 80º south at five o’clock. Distance travelled from the ship is about 140 miles, taking 27 days, averaging a little over five miles a day. To lay the depots to Beardmore Glacier we will have to double that mileage.”

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