Monday 13 Nov. [Actually November 12]

Same glorious weather. Faint breeze from the NNE quarter.

The land appeared to us in the most glorious hues. Glittering white, shining blue, raven black lit by the sun, the land looks like a fairy tale. Pinnacle after pinnacle, peak after peak – crevassed, wild as any land on our globe, it lies, unseen and untrodden. It is a wonderful feeling to travel along it.

If B range is the same that Sh. has mapped then, as far as I can make out, it lies in a more ESE’ly direction. Made a great discovery in the forenoon. The S’most and E’most point of C range, which I assumed must lie around 86°, and where our climb must take place, suddenly turned out to be the w’most cape of a huge bight running south, at least C range finishes there, and land only appears again a whole point more E’ly. We cannot see land between these two capes, and therefore I assume that we cannot come up against it before 87°. According to the new compass error we have established today, our course runs straight between the capes. We are naturally very excited.

Reached 84° today, and ought really to have a rest day tomorrow, but we have agreed to profit by the fine weather. The dogs do not give the impression of being exhausted. We put out a depot during the afternoon. It contains 24 kg dog pemmican, 6 kg human pemmican, 2 kg chocolate, four bags of dried milk, 800 biscuits, one can of paraffin (17 l.) 1 box of matches, five seal steaks, one whip, a few carabiners and some items of clothing. It is about 2 m high and marked with a big empty packing case on the top.

Last night repeatedly heard bangs and the cannon roars in the ice. They came separately. Noticed today – in a short distance – some really narrow cracks – ca. 1 inch wide – in the ice. This shows that there has been great pressure just in this place – that is to say, quite locally.

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.