Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Camper

Happy Camper snow craft training (11/21-11/22).  This is required survival camping training where we made camp on the ice, including snow trenches and other survival strategies in case of misadventure while out in the field.

Some photos.  The weather was excellent for this trip with high temps in the 20's, sunny skies, and light winds.  Narrative to follow.

The Delta: Our luxury field transport vehicle.  The big tires are for low pressure to the ice.  Passengers ride in the fancy shack on the back.

Down the ice highway to Happy Camp.  The road is built on the Ross Sea Ice Shelf, formed by glacier ice that flows out onto Ross Sea.  This is permanent ice that exists year to year and is different from the much thinner and seasonal sea ice that the planes land on in front of McMurdo Station. 

Our intrepid Happy Camp instructor, Julian Hanna, giving instructions on camp set up.

John Goodge and Tanya Dryer setting up the traditional Scott tent

Cutting snow blocks for a wind wall.

John Goodge, Mark Fanning, and Tanya Dryer

The lineup of tents.

Winter school instructor Julian Hanna holding forth on the finer points of boiling water for the dehydrated meals.

Setting a "deadman" anchor for the tent fly.  Note Mount Erebus steaming in the background.

Scott tent, wind wall and line up of tents

The overnight low was about +10-+20 with no wind and so a beautiful night.  Temps in the tents were quite toasty when the sun was hitting them, especially broadside.

Master water boiler and snow melter, John Goodge

Seeking virgin wind blown crust for cutting of snow blocks

One of the snow trenches made for the evening.  About half the group slept in their snow trenches and the other half slept in tents.

John Goodge, veteran of 10 Antarctic campaigns, and hundreds of nights sleeping in tents in the full range of conditions, sitting on some gear bags at the end of the 2 day exercise, wondering why on Earth he needed to attend snow school again.

No comments:

Post a Comment