Wednesday 1 November [Actually October 31]
Set off in thick fog. We had an eventful march.
When we ran over here the first time, we only found one crevasse in which two of HH's dogs fell. Different this time. In the fog, we strayed into a long depression, and here we found crevasse after crevasse. They were not particularly wide – ca. 3 feet, and luckily ran athwart out course. If such beasts became parallel, then they are dangerous.
When we had covered 12.5 nautical miles HH, who always goes first, ran over a crevasse, and was unfortunate enough to catch his ski tip in a dog trace, with the result that he fell, and remained lying across the crevasse. A fairly unpleasant situation. The dogs had reached the other side, and started a dreadful brawl at the edge of the abyss. In the meanwhile the sledge was half way into the crevasse, and threatened to sink at any moment. I was able to stop the dogfight. W. dragged HH out of his perilous position, and by our combined effort, we managed to get the sledge out, and away from the dangerous neighborhoss.
The others had crossed a little way off, where the snow bridge was stronger. Hass. also fell right in the middle of a crevasse, and came within an ace of ending badly.
The crevasses are impressive when one lies at the edge and stares down in them. A bottomless chasm goes from light blue into the thickest darkness. The ugliest formations we have found here are huge holes that could swallow Fram and a lot more besides. These holes are covered by a thin wind crust, and the little hole that is visible doesn't seem so menacing. But if one gets on to such a delightful spot, one is irrevocably lost.
We passed one of these holes in the 'pea souper' today. Luckily HH saw it in time. There is not much that escapes his sharp eye. We are all clear. What risk to we not run in our march over such unpleasant places. We go with our lives in our hands each day. But it is pleasant to hear – nobody wants to turn back. No – these boys want to press on, cost what it will.
This transcript comes from “Race for the South Pole - The Expedition Diaries of Scott and Amundsen” by Roland Huntford. It appears by courtesy of the author and The Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.