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8-Start for Wood Bay-p3

The iron runners had been fitted to the 10-foot sledge while at Cape Adare, and tests carried out. 

Priestley in his book[i] says:
‘The last few days of August and the first few days of September were again fully occupied with preparations for sledging.  These commenced with one strenuous morning spent fitting the iron runners to the 10-foot sledge used on the trial journey, and the test, which followed this innovation, was successful beyond our wildest hopes.  On the salt and snowy surface of one of the brine lakes on the beach one man was able to pull 382 lb., and if this promise was fulfilled on the sea-ice surface, our discomfort on the next journey would be halved’. 

While Griffith Taylor[ii] says:
‘Iron Runners were undoubtedly of immense assistance to the Northern party on sticky sea ice.  We tried them on rugged glacier ice and they were useless, for they had “no” grip at all, and on any sort of slope would not follow the traces, but simply slid down the “dip" of the ice’.

Was Levick’s group carrying more their fair share? It is hard to say without having seen what others wrote in their diaries.  However, both three-man parties would be carrying the same camping and personal gear and food.  Although Levick’s team had his photography equipment, the other team had Campbell’s survey and Priestley’s geological equipment.  Any extra food, a decreasing weight as the days passed, would, I assume, have been shared between the two sledges.  Even if Levick had more than his share at the start of their journey, as they travelled the food would be consumed, lightening his load. Campbell’s sledge, with the additions of Priestley’s geological samples, would have an increasing load.

Now ready, they headed north-west to the foothills between them and Mount Melbourne.   Campbell's plan was to follow the ‘Melbourne’ Glacier to where it would be possible to cross the lower slopes of Mount Melbourne into Wood Bay. 



[i] Raymond Edward Priestley, Antarctic Adventure; Scott’s Northern Party (General Books LLC, 1913), p. 147.

[ii] Griffith Taylor, With Scott: The Silver Lining, Facsimile of 1916 ed (Smith, Elder and co.,, 1916), p. 452.

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