Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, November 10, 1915: “Came on splendid surface 2.30. . .”

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

“November 10, Wednesday. An excellent night. Temp. -8. Up ayt 6 a.m., under way usual time. After struggling for 2-1/2 hours up hill, reached the ice pressure at 11 o’clock. Lunch usual. Under way, 1.

[Joyce, Irvine Gaze, and John Cope are travelling as a detached party to add supplies to the existing depot at Minna Bluff, having left Hut Point November 5.]

“Came on splendid surface 2.30. At 3.15 came on to a huge bergschrund with a drop of 70 to 80 feet. If we had been travelling in hazy weather, I would not have been writing these notes. In appearance it seems that one of the big crevasses had fallen in, leaving a huge gap.

“After examining this, found pure blue ice at the bottom, not the same as the surface we had been travelling over—compressed snow. Camped 6. P.m. Distance 9 miles 420 yards. Temp. -3. Dogs A1.”


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