On 6 January 1911 - Scott and company were still hard at the work of unloading the tons of stores the several-year-long expedition would require. This required trecks across the hardened pack-ice to their encampment at Cape Evans - on Ross Island. This was a three mile round-trip. Some of the crew made as many as eight of these crossings while pulling heavily laden man-haul sledges. Others - including Scott - gave the ponies a workout in the hauling. Still others worked with dog teams. And here it is - already - the damned issue of the ponies. Scott waxes almost euphorically about them. "I was astonished at the strength of the beasts I handled," he declared. "Three of the four pulled hard the whole time and gave me much exercise." (Journals, p. 75-76, Carrol & Graf ). Many put the blame on the expedition's catastrophic end down to Scott's seemingly absurd plan to rely on ponies for his polar amibition. This is thrown into sharp contrast by Amundsen's tremendous success with dogs. Why ponies? In Antarctica? Sir Ranulph Fiennes sought to explain, if not defend, the choice in his excellent book Race to the Pole (Hyperion 2004). Among the points to consider are these: the possibility of eating the ponies when their other uses had run their course; and the long-English tradition with ponies - contrasting sharply with the total lack of experience with dog-hauling so familiar in northern lands. Consider, also, the advantage we have of highsight. As Fiennes noted: "...Scott had no crystal ball and knew as many good reasons for dogs proving to be a disastrous choice as might have pointed in their favor." (Fiennes, Race to the Pole, p. 28-29, Hyperion ). We will return - again and again - to this debate.