2013/14 Antarctic Field Season

It's been another busy summer down here and I haven't found the time to write any sort of blog post so this one is going to be a photo heavy round up of what I've been up to.

Mountaineering and Antarctic Travel Training

A large part of my job involves delivering training to BAS staff and visiting scientists. This training ranges from basic personal skills for operating on snowy ground, i.e. the use of crampons and an ice axe, through to more advanced techniques for glacier travel on foot and skidoo, and crevasse rescue systems.

 Crevasse rescue

Crevasse rescue

 A line of simulated casualties

A line of simulated casualties

 Linked skidoo travel training on Adelaide Island with Kenrick Turner, the Rothera wintering Doctor.

Linked skidoo travel training on Adelaide Island with Kenrick Turner, the Rothera wintering Doctor.

Operating BAS' deep field base - Sky Blu

Another job that all BAS field assistants will undertake at some point during the summer season is running Sky Blu. Sky Blu is the hub for all deep field work BAS carries out on the continent and comprises of a blue ice run-way and large stocks of aviation fuel. Sky Blu is typically staffed by two vehicle mechanics whose job it is to operate and maintain the vehicles available to keep the blu ice runway free of snow, and one field assistant who manages the site and passes hourly weather observations to aircraft and back to Rothera.

 Melon hut accommodation at Sky Blu

Melon hut accommodation at Sky Blu

 Sky Blu - blue ice runway and camp to right

Sky Blu - blue ice runway and camp to right

 Twin Otter travelling through Sky Blu on the ice runway

Twin Otter travelling through Sky Blu on the ice runway

Recreation at Rothera

 A trip along Reptile Ridge

A trip along Reptile Ridge

 Ski mountaineering on Christmas day

Ski mountaineering on Christmas day

 Mountaineering on Leonie Island (Photo: Cheese Rudkin)

Mountaineering on Leonie Island (Photo: Cheese Rudkin)

 An evening skiing in Stork Bowl

An evening skiing in Stork Bowl

 Fresh turns!

Fresh turns!

Horseshoe Valley, Ellsworth Mountains

This was the second part of a project I led last season involving a study into the blue ice moraines. The project comprised of 4 Scientists, and two field guides - myself and Phil Stevens.

 The depot I left in January 2013 - skidoos, sledges, food and fuel

The depot I left in January 2013 - skidoos, sledges, food and fuel

 Our camp at 80 degrees South in the Horseshoe Valley

Our camp at 80 degrees South in the Horseshoe Valley

 Impressive lenticular clouds over the Horseshoe Valley

Impressive lenticular clouds over the Horseshoe Valley

 Cloud rolling off the Polar Plateau

Cloud rolling off the Polar Plateau

 Weather was very poor in comparison to what I experienced the previous season

Weather was very poor in comparison to what I experienced the previous season

 Carrying out some Geological sampling in the Marble Hills

Carrying out some Geological sampling in the Marble Hills

 Collecting ice samples from debris bands on the blue ice

Collecting ice samples from debris bands on the blue ice

 Returning to camp after a long days work in the Marble range

Returning to camp after a long days work in the Marble range

 Mairi came as the co-pilot on the uplift!

Mairi came as the co-pilot on the uplift!

 Uplift involved 11 thousand lbs of kit

Uplift involved 11 thousand lbs of kit

Depot work with the Chilean Navy

We often have visiting ships coming into Rothera during the summer season from various different nations operating down here. One visit this season was from the Chilean Naval vessel the Oscar Viel. While our Chilean friends were at Rothera they offered to help us re-stock some of our more remote emergency depots located on islands around Rothera using their on-board helicopter.

 The Chilean Navy ship, Oscar Viel.

The Chilean Navy ship, Oscar Viel.

 Helicopter landing on the Apron at Rothera

Helicopter landing on the Apron at Rothera

 On Jenny Island

On Jenny Island

 Helicopter on Pinnero Island

Helicopter on Pinnero Island