Monday, 16 April 2007

team echo sledging winter party

Camped on a solid plateau in the middle of the brunt ice shelf, with temperatures -20oC, a gas stove and sleeping bags to keep us warm. Its amazing what you call home.

It was me, mark (electrician), andy (vehicle mechanic) and sune (GA).

This was the coldest yet sunniest trip so far. It was assumed that as the season progressed then the weather would get colder and harsher as compared to the earlier trips. The trips were always weather dependant and lasted upto 5 days, although one group stayed in the tents for mush longer. Here we enjoy the sun with and without shirts for 10 minutes (its all about the best tan down here) although its still -20.

Once the sun goes down then you feel the cold the most. The sunsets are amazing and clear but once you are settled in the tent with stove and tilly lamp going you do not want to leave the tent for anything.
We ponder whilst we decide who goes first for the abseil into the abyss. At -20 its all hard work.

A super silly hat and glove shot of me.

Walking the line, roping up as we walk across the ice shelf which is full of crevasses. Its an interesting and daunting time. We go in pairs a rope's length between us and an ice axe at the ready should anyone fall into a crevasse.

someone has fallen in...

Nope, its just an ice cave. Down we go to have a look and see what we find???????

This is amazing. Its a bit of squeeze to get in but it all seems so delicate and brittle.

The ice is really so blue and the crystal structures so fine and detailed. Its like being in the centre of a million chandeliers. A tug on the rope and its time to let the next one down.


americanguhl said...

much better. ok. this is amazing. spectacular. stunning. makes me think of Ralph Waldo "know nature." how far did you travel? is the only sound that of the wind? are you releived its over? how far inland were you? was there any wildlife? were you afraid? was there a designated pee zone near camp? ...sorry for all the questions. hard to comment on this one - its just so...epic.

americanguhl said...

ooh! ooh! i know... certainly you have read this - found it while googling antarctica and BAS and halley and skidoodles and all those other far-away exotic things that happen to constitute your very unique reality...

"Exploration is the physical expression of the Intellectual Passion.

"And I tell you, if you have the desire for knowledge and the power to give it physical expression, go out and explore. If you are a brave man you will do nothing: if you are fearful you may do much, for none but cowards have need to prove their bravery. Some will tell you that you are mad, and nearly all will say, 'What is the use?' For we are a nation of shopkeepers, and no shopkeeper will look at research which does not promise him a financial return within a year. And so you will sledge nearly alone, but those with whom you sledge will not be shopkeepers: that is worth a good deal. If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."

Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World (1922)

kayos said...

Pictures are amazing Neil.

Anonymous said...

hi dad
nice pics...missing you