Saturday 2 Dec. [Actually December 01]
The 'vidda' over which we are now traveling resembles a frozen sea – a domed cupola if ice. Covered by quite small, covered crevasses. A few minor sastrugi here and there. Excellent conditions for a skater, but unfortunately unsuitable for our dogs and ourselves.
I drag myself with my sticks ahead on skis. It is not easy. The dog drivers are off their skis, at the side of their sledges, ready to help the animals, when they can no longer get a grip with their claws. And that has unfortunately mostly been the case all day long. It has been a struggle both for doggies and human beings. Added to that, there is a storm from the SE with thick, intense drift and falling snow, so that one absolutely cannot see anything at all. We have travelled completely blind today. We are almost unrecognizable from frostbitten faces. Some have huge, hard cheeks, others have had to sacrifice noses, and yet other, chins. It has been an unpleasant day – stormy; drift and frostbite – but we have moved ahead – 13 nautical miles closer to our goal. Stiff gale this evening from SE. -24°. Boiling gave 9,300 ft. We are constantly climbing.
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.