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Captain Scott's last camp, Ross Ice Shelf

  • R. K. Headland (a1)

Extract

On 19 March 1912, Captain R.F. Scott, Dr E.A. Wilson, and Lt H.R Bowers reached a latitude of 79° 40ʹS during their return journey from the South Pole. There they camped and were fatally delayed by a blizzard. The date of Scott's last diary entry is 29 March 1912 and he died on, or shortly after, that date, with his two companions, of starvation and cold. They had left their base at Cape Evans in stages from 24 October 1911 with a party of 16. Relay parties returned on 11 and 21 December 1911, and on 4 January 1912. Five men attained the South Pole on 17 January 1912 where they found that an expedition, led by R.E.G. Amundsen from Norway, has preceded them on 14 December 1911. 33 days had elapsed between the departure of the Norwegian party from the pole and Scott's arrival there. During the return journey over the Ross Ice Shelf, roughly along the 169°E meridian, two of the party of five died: E. Evans on 17 February 1912 and L.E.G. Oates on, or shortly after, 16 March 1912.

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References

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Debenham, F. 1923. Report on the maps and surveys (British [Terra Nova] Antarctica Expedition). London: Harrison and Sons.
Swithinbank, C.W.M. 1970. Ice movement in the McMurdo Sound area of Antarctica. Cambridge: Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (International Symposium on Antarctic Glaciological Exploration1968): 472–487.
Thomas, R.H., MacAyeal, D.R., Eilers, D.H., and Gaylord, D.R.. 1984. Glaciological studies on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, 1973–78. Washington: American Geophysical Union (Antarctic Research Series 42 (2)): 21–53.

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