Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, March 11-14, 1916: “No words can express our feelings on going up the ice foot to the old hut. . . .”

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

[The party comes at last to the ‘Discovery’ hut at Hut Point.] “Under way at 10.30. Rounded the Cape [Armitage], found the ice slushy, therefore treacherous. Continued on. No turning back now. Reached hard ice shortly after, eventually arriving at Hut Point about 3 o’clock. No words can express our feelings on going up the ice foot to the old hut. . . . Before we could enter the hut it was necessary to dig away tons of snow, to force an entrance through the window,l the door being several feet under the ice. Our remaining strength was taxed to lift Hayward through the window. For 193 days we have toiled under extreme temperatures and suffered untold agonies, to carry out an objective which we have now accomplished. . .

”As there is still no word or news here of the ship, and the sound clear of ice, we surmise she has gone down with all hands. We wonder how Shackleton is faring?

“March 13th, Monday. Turned out at 7 o’clock. Hayward about the same. We propose to take the trail again for Mack [Mackintosh, who had been left behind on the ice in the desperate attempt to save Hayward.]. . . . Ready for the fray tomorrow.

“March 14th, Tuesday. Had a sleepless night. Wondering how the dogs will face south again. Up at 5 o’clock. A day of days. Under way after mid-day food.”

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