Robert Falcon Scott
ime Line, Info Graphic
British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13

Scott's Journey: page 1 - preparations | page 2 - the polar journey | this page - time-line and info graphic | crew of the Terra Nova | why did Scott die? | what did Scott's team die of?

  • A British organized and led expedition with an extensive scientific programme along with exploration including at attempt to be the first to the South Pole

  • Most famous for the deaths of Scott and his four companions on the way back from the South Pole having been beaten there by Amundsen

  • Were it not for the South Pole tragedy, the expedition would have become famous for the scientific achievements and trials of of the Western and Northern Parties

Scott, Terra Nova Expedition - infographic
Info-graphic of the expedition. Full size image (4000px wide) wide)

Scott and the South Pole Party (yellow boxes) - The main reason  for Scott's expedition was to be the first to reach the South Pole, he had tried to do this previously in 1902/3 when he came to within 480 miles of the Pole with Ernest Shackleton and Edward Wilson. Shackleton in a separate expedition came within 97 miles of the Pole in 1909. The Pole was still there for the taking.

The Northern Party (white boxes) - North is around the edges of the map above, south and the pole are in the middle of the map. Led by Victor Campbell the Northern Party wintered as planned in a hut at Cape Adare in 1911, the Terra Nova met them in January 1912 and moved them to another location where they were to spend 6 weeks before being picked up again. The Terra Nova could not get through thick pack ice however and they were forced to spend a second winter in very difficult conditions in a snow cave they excavated before walking back to base as spring arrived.

The Western Party - (blue boxes) - 2 journeys, the first of 3 months made by 4 men in early 1911 to the Dry Valleys and surrounding area. The second also of 4 men set off in Nov 1911 to investigate the glaciers and strike inland, the Terra Nova is unable to pick them up in January as planned so they start walking back, being met part-way by the ship a month later.

Scott and the South Pole Party
Northern Party
Western Party

15th June 1910
Terra Nova sails from Cardiff, Wales

4th Jan 1911
Arrival at Cape Evans, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Ship unloaded and hut built on Ross Island.

25th Jan 1911
Terra Nova leaves Cape Evans, she will spend the winter in New Zealand

27th Jan 1911
Terra Nova takes 1st Western Party led by Debenham to Butter Point to map valleys and glaciers including the "Dry Valleys"

27th Jan 1911
Terra Nova sails to establish an eastern camp, turned back at Cape Colbeck, they sail towards Cape Adare

3rd Feb 1911
Terra Nova meets unexpectedly with Amundsen's ship Fram at the Bay of Whales

18th Feb 1911
Terra Nova lands 6 men led by Campbell at Cape Adare, the Eastern Party becomes the Northern Party, a hut is built and preparations for winter made

Jan - Apr 1911
Supply laying sledge journeys as far as One Ton Depot to prepare for the attempt on the South Pole

Start of Winter 1911 - first winter

13th April 1911
The winter is spent with many scientific investigations and some sledging journeys
1st Western Party walk back to main hut at Cape Evans

27th June 1911
Bowers, Cherry-Garrard, Wilson make a winter journey to Cape Crozier to bring back an emperor penguins' egg in the Antarctic winter night

2nd Aug 1911
Cape Crozier party return exhausted after a difficult journey

October 1911
With the arrival of spring, Scott made more depot-laying sledging journeys in preparation for the South Pole attempt

 Scott and the South Pole Party
 Northern Party
 Western Party
End of Winter 1911

24th Oct - 4th Nov 1911
South Pole journey begins, 16 men, 2 motor sledges, 10 ponies, 23 dogs, 13 sledges set off

18th Nov 1911
2nd Western Party led by Debenham manhaul to Butter Point and up the coast to map valleys and glaciers

24th Nov 1911
First 2 men sent back to Cape Evans

9th Dec 1911
Foot of Beardmore Glacier reached, ponies shot

11th Dec 1911
Next 2 men and dog team sent back

21st Dec 1911
Half way up Beardmore Glacier, next 4 men sent back

4th Jan 1912
Rim of Beardmore, 3 men sent back, 5 now head to the South Pole

8th Jan 1912
Terra Nova moves Northern Party to Evans Cove, intending a 6 week stay, they survey the area around Mt. Melbourne

15th Jan 1912
Pick-up by Terra Nova delayed, party begin to man-haul back to Cape Evans

17th Jan 1912
5 men reach the South Pole to find they were beaten by Amundsen a month earlier

6th Feb 1912
Terra Nova arrives at Cape Evans

14th Feb 1912
Terra Nova meets Western party crossing fast ice, collects them and takes them back to Cape Evans

17th Feb 1912
Edgar Evans dies in his sleeping bag on the return from the pole
Campbell's party return to the rendezvous point to meet the Terra Nova which cannot get through a thick belt of sea-ice

3rd Mar 1912
Terra Nova leaves Cape Evans after waiting for the South Pole Party to return, she cannot risk being iced in as winter arrives

12th Mar 1912
Realising they were not going to be picked up that season a hut is built and ice-cave excavated on Inexpressible Island for the winter, it is complete by the 17th of March

 Scott and the South Pole Party
 Northern Party
 Western Party
Start of Winter 1912 - second winter

16th Mar 1912
Suffering from gangrene and frostbite, Captain Oates walks to his death in a blizzard sacrificing himself for his companions
Rations are short, tea served on Sundays was reboiled on Mondays and smoked as tobacco on Tuesdays, the winter is very difficult.

19th Mar 1912
Scott's final camp made 11 miles from food and fuel at One Ton Depot, the three surviving men can walk no further

29th Mar 1912
Scott dies in the tent, he was presumed to be the last man alive

A sombre winter is passed at Cape Evans, after their non-return, it is assumed Scott and the polar party have not survived

End of Winter 1912

30th Sept 1912
As winter ends, the Northern Party begin to walk down the coast back to Cape Evans

29th Oct 1912
A cache of food left by the Western Party the previous year is found, the ill and weak men are re-vitalised

6th Nov 1912
Northern Party reach Cape Evans hut to receive a sumptuous meal

12th Nov 1912
The bodies of Scott, Bowers and Wilson are found in their tent

18th Jan 1913
Terra Nova arrives at Cape Evans

19th Jan 1913
Terra Nova leaves Cape Evans with all remaining men to return to Britain

Robert Falcon Scott Books and Video

The Coldest March: Scott's Fatal Antarctic Expedition
The Coldest March:
Scott's Fatal Antarctic Expedition
by Susan Solomon


The Worst Journey in the World.
Apsley Cherry-Garrard

 more on this book from
The Voyage of the Discovery
: Scott's First Antarctic Expedition
by Robert Falcon Scott, Ross MacPhee (Introduction), Fridtjof Nansen (Preface)

The Great White South: Traveling with Robert F. Scott's Doomed South Pole Expedition
The Great White South
: Travelling with Robert F. Scott's Doomed South Pole Expedition by Herbert Ponting

Journals: Scott's Last Expedition (Oxford World's Classics)
Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals of Captain R.F.Scott

Edward Wilson's Antarctic Notebooks

With Scott to the Pole

Herbert Ponting, illustrated

Discovery Illustrated:
Pictures from Captain Scott's First Antarctic Expedition

The Last Place on Earth (Modern Library Exploration)
Captain Scott
by Sir Ranulph Fiennes

90 Degrees South:
With Scott to the Antarctic (1933) DVD

 History Chapters: Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott Race to the South Pole (History Chapters)
History Chapters: Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott Race to the South Pole. Ages 4-8

Diary of the "Terra Nova"
Expedition to the Antarctic, 1910-12