Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, January 26, 1916: “Shackleton’s party will have to depend upon this depot for their lives.”

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

“Before dinner I decided to take the depot up Mt. Hope, Wild and Hayward accompanying me. Arrived at the summit. I picked out a place, which would be impossible to miss coming from the south. Left depot lashed to a broken sledge, with bamboos lashed to a height of 15 feet, with 3 flags. We left two seeks’ food, 3 weeks’ oil and biscuits. I snapped a few photographs. We made for camp, reaching there at 10.30.

“I was satisfied that the object of the expedition was carried out. After all our toil and hardships it would have been bad luck if we could not have accomplished our objective. Shackleton’s party will have to depend upon this depot for their lives.

“During dinner the Skipper acknowledged our work. ‘Something attempted, something done.’ Our next proposition is to trek back to Hut Point, with the greatest speed. Distance during da 22 miles. We have had a long day. Turned in with a great load off my mind. The next enterprise is the long trail back. The dogs are our only hope. Our lives depend on them. (It has taken 148 days to lay this depot.)”

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