Onward O'er the Snow: During Their Three Years in the Antarctic, Scott and His Team Experimented with Various Forms of Transport-Including Tobogganing, Skiing, Sledging and Ballooning-Which Provided Them with Plenty to Write about. (South Polar Times)

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Ballooning in the Antarctic

No sooner was the project of taking a balloon to the Antarctic brought forward than subscriptions came forward in such a liberal style that it became a settled matter.

The Captain was the first to make an ascent. At two hundred feet he called out that what looked like a range of hills was showing up to the Southward, but on going higher he found them to be clouds. At five hundred feet the balloon commenced to drop, and we saw a hand come out with a little sprinkling of ballast (coal-dust). The balloon still quickly sinking, we suddenly saw a whole bag come hurtling to Mother Barrier; although this is rather a drastic measure to take with a captive balloon, it produced the desired effect, and six hundred feet was reached. The Captain then had a good look round with glasses, and seeing no sign of land, gave the signal and the balloon was hauled down by running a block along the wire with four or five men hanging on to its tail.

One of the officers of the balloon section then went up, rising to about six fifty or seven hundred feet. He took a camera with him and got some interesting photos. The sledge party was visible about ten miles to the south but no sign of land. The temperature at seven hundred feet was found to be fifteen degrees Fahrenheit, two degrees lower than on the Barrier surface. We should like to have got the balloon up to a greater height, but our wire was a little on the heavy and safe side, and the envelope not fully inflated. Heald then went for a small ascent while the balloon was being reeled in, and it was then anchored during dinner. Hydrogen (Skelton), no.2, June 1902

Expedition Olympics

We began our "Sports" with the Toboggan race. Two Competitors were on each Toboggan. Duncan (Carpenter Mate) and Walker were hot favorites.

The canny "Scott" had utilized ski runners, surmounted by a framework similar to a sledge. This was, by far, the fastest toboggan on the ground. All the others were made of cask staves having battens secured across them. Quarterly and Hubert had one made in two sections, the front part being movable, so that they could steer it.

The toboggans started some way up Ski Slope, two at a time. …


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