Posted: Jun 15, 2009

Episode 5: "The Glories of the Race" Scott's expedition, consisting of his own four-man group, three support parties, and two dog teams driven by Cecil Meares and a Russian, becomes stalled in a days-long blizzard midway through the Great Ice Barrier. Irritable and abrasive, Scott argues with Oates over the timing of pony-slaughter. Oates insists that the ponies be used, ill though they may be, to the foot of the Beardmore Glacier and then be killed, but Scott wishes to kill them earlier to prevent suffering. Oates does not see how pony suffering can be prevented either way and persists in asserting that the ponies be utilized as planned, all of the way to the foot of the Beardmore. Scott grudgingly bows to Oates' opinion. Amundsen, meanwhile, has had favorable weather and efficient pulling by his teams of dogs, and he and his four companions cross the Barrier in just a few weeks and ascend a glacier, with their dogs pulling the heavy sledges. Near the top of the glacier, with the plateau very close, Amundsen orders the butchering of some of the dogs for a supply of fresh meat, for dogs and men. He and his men eat the dog meat to prevent scurvy. Amundsen's group then journeys on the plateau and finds an eerie area of pressure-formed fissures. Dog teams are sent back to base by Scott once his expedition has reached the Beardmore. Resentful of the effective performance of the dogs as compared to the faltering ponies, Scott has antagonized Meares with endless and groundless insinuations of incompetence, knowing that he will be dependent upon Meares for another dog run on the Barrier to replenish the depots. Meares opts to quit the expedition upon return to McMurdo and not to lead the depot- replenishing dog run.