Monday 27 Nov. [Actually November 26]
There was a short clear interval in the small hours at 3 o’clock, and we went out to investigate the conditions. We were on a slope with a fairly steep gradient along our course.
There was a short clear interval in the small hours at 3 o’clock, and we went out to investigate the conditions. We were on a slope with a fairly steep gradient along our course. On the other hand, by moving to the E one had a fine, even descent. And that is what we did when we set off this morning around 8 o’clock in an E’ly gale with heavy drift so that we could not see our hands before our face. We soon got down to level ground. Without doubt the ridge on which we lay is Håkonshallen’s transition to the ‘Vidda’.52 Later we crossed a rather gentle ridge – probably from the Great Beehive and since then we have not noticed anything.
Smooth lies the Vidda before us – without sastrugi – flat as a living room floor. We have won a victory. Dragged ourselves through storm and drift and are lying now on the Vidda in sunshine and fine weather. We reached 86° S. Lat. and are extremely pleased with our prospects. The going in the forenoon was like sand. It was real misery to move ahead both for animals and men. It was rather better in the p.m. and it was soon helped when the sun shone a little on us. The dogs’ stomachs were completely in order again today after pemmican feeding yesterday.
Today I started to take over my position as ‘forerunner’. It was necessary in order to make the dogs advance.
This evening boiling gave 9,200 ft. In other words a descent of 800ft. today. Well now the road to the Pole is clear – may we soon be there. Have built a number of cairns along the way.
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.