While still at the Depot Laying Expedition's third camp on 31 January 1911, Scott and company make the ridiculous discovery that snow-shoes for the ponies mitigate ... even resolve ... the difficulties brought on by the softening surface conditions on the Barrier. "The effect," Scott declared, "was magical." (Journals, p. 113, Carroll & Graf ). Scott was so impressed that he immediately dispatched a team back to the hut (over 40 miles round trip) to collect the rest of the snow-shoes, costing the depot expedition precious time. It is hard to believe that the fate of the Empire's south polar ambitions rested with something so small and absurd. But it did. Scott thought that with the snow-shoes they might double their daily distances on the Depot Laying Expedition thereby extending the range of supplies they would leave in cache of the coming assault on the pole. Cherry-Garrard described the little things as a "circle of wire as a foundation, hooped round with bamboo, and with beckets of the same material." (Apsely Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World, p. 113, Carroll & Graf ).