Mini break

November 28, 2009   


caboose view2View from the caboose at 1am!

Tomorrow the JCR comes in this is the ship that brings relief (stores) to the base. The base last had stores brought in 12 months ago so we are living off the winter stuff. As relief starts on a sunday we had saturday morning off work. I was hoping to have saturday afternoon off as well so I could have a full day climbing peaks. However, we had training on the dive chamber to enjoy instead. I guess I do have to work at some point!

Last night after a long day of boatshed clearing and coxing a dive in south cove we had a good dinner and packed up overnight kit, ski kit and climbing gear into the box sled and Claire, Adam, Clive and I headed for the caboose up at Vals. We were up there by 8:30pm and skied till 11pm at Vals before heading into the warm caboose for some banjo playing and talking till 1am!

We rose at 7am this morning and took the skidoo to the base of the Stork range and roped up for glacier travel. It was a hard slog uphill and by 11:00am we were standing on the summit of my first peak conquered in Antarctica! Wow the view was amazing… We could see Alexander island in the distance 100miles away the air is so clear down here. We were using our new mountaineering skills and were roped together so four people in a row with quite a distance between.
Middle Stork

You can’t be complacent about travelling across glacier regions it really isn’t a stroll in the park. We got to the top and could see Rothera in the distance and as far as the eye could see the moutain ranges of the Antarctic peninsula. You can sit in the silence of the wilderness and hear artillery fire which is the ice shifting and icebergs calving. The Sheldon Glacier was really heavily crevassed beneath us miles away and the ice cliffs which are so large from the boats were reflecting on the water.

We followed our tracks back down making sure to stay in the track we had sucessfully come up. However, Adam did find a crevasse and went through the snow bridge Claire, myself and Clive our trusty mountaineer braced ourselves and pulled him out. He was trying to find a wall to get his campons into but swinging his feet around found nothing so the crevasse was quite large. After we got him out he carefully picked us a new route. I think he was a little shaken it just drives home the fact that you have to stay properly roped to someone like BAS teaches us.

None of us can believe we get paid to live and work in such an amazing place. We are all very lucky people down here at Rothera. Hope you have a great Saturday night. I am going to relax maybe run around the runway or go to the climbing wall (inside). Tomorrow the ships ETA is midday so it will be full on crazy for 3 days of relief.


6 Responses to “Mini break”

  1. Glad my taxes are going for a good project, out here with Henry and the girls, just spent
    some time in Belvedere at the park, Love from Dad, girls are now sleeping, I am at the
    cave getting organized, girls are sleeping and Henry is having a quite time, will see dick
    and sherrie this afternoon. Then loads of work in the bsmt at Lomita

    Love from DAD

  2. Will give you a call in a few hours Dad. Please give Henry and the girls lots of hugs and also Draeger.


  3. are you cold yet?

  4. You end up getting really use to it! Amazing really we were sunbathing in -1C today 🙂

  5. I need to find a way to get down there one of this day.
    It’s really fun for us to read your blog, it’s great to see that your able to keep it updated and upload pictures from Antartica.
    Keep the good work the Queen is watching :).

  6. Thanks for checking in life is super busy on base it is hard to get anytime to just do normal things! Today was a 5km row in the morning 5km run in the evening and then I was going to go skiing but just couldn’t get my act together….