This week I’ve been listening to Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s ‘The Worst Journey In The World’, chronicling Scott’s doomed 1910-1913 attempt upon the South pole.
The account is so desperately sad, and the journey itself was indescribably agonising. The worst of what I’ve ever endured when out backpacking–and to me that’s felt pretty bad–wouldn’t even have come close to registering on the scale of discomfort endured daily by all members of the expedition. To think that Scott and his companions died only 11 miles from safety is simply heart-breaking.
I bet most people who read this blog have read the book already, but if you haven’t then I can’t recommend it more highly. One of the most striking things about the book (to me, anyway) is the concern that was felt by virtually all members of the team for the ponies and dogs they took with them in the face of the terrifying conditions they met.
Tuck up warm in a quiet place to read it, and if you’re anything like me you’ll thank God/Whatever that you’re never likely to face a similar test.