Northward: Peary’s 1908-09 Expedition

The ice foot became impossible

Broke camp at Lincoln Bay at 3.15 yesterday, within fifteen minutes I broke the ice twice and was obliged to make a mad scramble for the shore.
    At Cape Frederick VII we found the ice foot entirely gone leaving a high steep bank covered with slippery ice. Here there was danger of losing everything, komatik, dogs and the whole business if we should attempt a crossing, so we unloaded the sledge and carried the load piece by piece on our heads around the cape. In the open water here we saw a black guillemot, the first of the season, also eight geese and a large flock of old squaws, or as some call them, the long tailed duck (Harelda hyemalis).
    The next mile or so was hard work sledging along an ice foot so steep that we were obliged to put ropes on the front and hind ends of the komatik to keep it from upsetting. We got into holes where the united strength of all three of us and the ten dogs could not budge the sled. Finally the ice foot became impossible, so we were compelled to descend to the channel ice. Unharnessing the dogs we let the komatik go with a rush down over the ragged ice. It bounced, jumped and leaped but landed right side up with care - another triumph for the "Peary Komatik."
    As we were approaching Cape Beechy a black dot on the ice ahead proved to be a seal which Koodlookto failed to get. Here the noise of falling water attracted our attention, a noise so unusual that at first I did not know what it was. Looking toward the high cliffs we could see it falling down over the rocks to the ice foot. We immediately turned inshore and pitched our tent as near to it as possible.  

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