Rating 3.5/4 out of 5

This is a tome of a book of 500 plus pages and that may be why it was not a straight 4/5 score. This is a pretty ‘raw’ book, which does not pull its punches so to speak. Pushes human endurance to the limits. Poor equipment and badly organized, yet something quite compelling about the journey…the human spirit. The beauty of the surroundings is exquisitely described. A long, hard read, more a commitment than a book, but I liked it.

I am awe-struck about how many miles they walked – 700 to the pole, pulling sledges. How many miles they had to cover in a day in order to get to the next depot before their food/oil stocks ran out. What went wrong…I felt compelled to finish the journey with them and find out what happened. xx

There is humour and good spirit within this stark environment, the part about the penguins is particularly nice. However, this book is long and very detailed (as it was to help others who later took to the Antarctic pole). How at the mercy of the weather and stocks they were, how little hiccups could snowball quite easily in such an environment. To stay in the tent would mean missing a precious day of sledging, but to go out would be pointless as they would not be able to navigate. The decisions they had to make! It also is a quest for knowledge, this is what makes Scott’s team differ from Amundsen. The latter’s was a race to the Pole. Scott’s team pursued scientific knowledge along the way. That is quite a feat.

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