Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Winter Trip No 1 – Tuesday

And this is Hangover Buttress.

When we woke up on Tuesday morning, the weather was too bad in order to go out to do anything. So, the only option was lie up again ... So, we spend the time reading and playing UNO.
At around 12pm the weather lightened up a bit and we were able to get out (yippie!). We went to Hangover Buttress to do some climbing. The actual route we did was called Scratchpad (a Grade 2 ice climb) which was about 90m long.

Way to go!

After parking the skidoos at the feet of the mountain, we first walked up a snow slope. The whole thing was about ½ ice and ½ snow climb. We quickly turned around at the top as it started crapping out again - blowing snow into our faces as we abseiled down. The drive back was quite interesting too as the contrast was not quite as good anymore and on top of that my skidoo helmet (very much like a motorcycle helmet) kept fogging up. After a while that fog started sticking to

Nice view for now.

the visor and it got quite icy (joys of Antarctica)...
When we go out on winter trips the skidoos are connected to each other in case one of them falls through a crevasse (we clip ourselves onto the skidoos). The field assistant drives in the front – next comes a sledge with luggage – another line and then my skidoo – and the last thing is another sledge connected to my

Skidoos and sledges looking tiny.

skidoo (mostly 15m lines between every link). When we go to different sites from our campsite, we still have to take the sledges with emergency kit (in case the weather gets so bad that we cannot get back to the campsite or the skidoo break down or similar).

and than the weather crapped out ...

When we left from Hangover Buttress, the first bit was relatively steep (for me ...) downhill and my sledge ended up overtaking me which was quite funny... We got back at around 5pm and had pasties for dinner. Bucko and Rose were on scheds talking to us about our day. We went over to others for the evening. At

Swinging the axes.

12am we were still over there. Nightwatch has to sit and listen to the radio at 12am, 3am and 6am every night when people are out on
winter trips in case there is an emergency and they are trying to get into contact (we also take Sat phones on the trips, which we would use first to contact anyone). It was quite common for people on wintertrips to contact Nightwatch at 12am just for fun (obviously not pretending that there is

Exausted but happy :)

something wrong, but just to say hi). We played Nightwatch a nice little song but did not really get an answer ;)

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