Antarctica

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:50 pm

Like one or two others on here have been I'm also now a resident of Scott base, Antarctica.
Did our field training yesterday which was very cool.
Am here with a research team for a little bit. No extended stay or wintering which is excellent.
Theres a lot of 4x4s here ranging from cruiser trucks and utes through to ford e350 vans and f350 utes. All running 35's+ with spring over lifts using big blocks. Unfortunately no nissans are to be seen...anywhere. Some of the utes have tracks which is cool. All the tyres on the trucks are super old and very cracked yet the drivers don't really have a care and drift everywhere.
Internet here is ass so will have a go uploading pics in the 'night' when the bandwidth is a bit better or when I get back.

Cheers Doug....

User avatar
IcedJohnno
Trailer Trash
Posts: 820
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:00 pm
Location: Christchurch nr the hills

Re: Antarctica

Postby IcedJohnno » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:00 pm

Enjoy....
Looking forward to seeing some photos of the place again.

How was you night in a Scott tent or were you nestled down in an ice cave for your AFT?

Are the Kiwi toyotas still running 31's or have they too gone bigger? Biggest I saw at mactown were 42's, mostly 38's.

Whats the science event that you are on?

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:19 pm

Hey man. Yeah will def try and get some pics up.

AFT was cool. We didn't have to sleep in a snow cave as there was only 4 of us I'm guessing. The instructor seemed down or tired or something as he just made sure I knew that stuff and told me to tell everyone else what the deal was :? . Was still a bit of manual snow movement done however. And we built a kick-ass snow-man and stuck our ECW gear on it :lol:

One of the toyotas is running mickey thompson tyres which are at least 35's. Didn't get a real good look.

I think one lwb cruiser may have little feet on it but all the rest i have seen have bigger 33-35's.

Havn't had time to check out mcmurdo yet unfortunately.

Ivan the terra is a crackup vehicle. As are the Hagglunds. Apparently one of the Hagglunds fell through the sea ice just before we got here, makes it a plus that they float.

The science event I'm with is K-020. Spos to be a real big group this season.

Saw a bunch of Emperor penguins on the drive from Pegasus and the seals have started coming through melt holes and the pressure ridges in the sea ice.

Got a few pics of David Attenborough and his signature on the flight down which made our 10hr boomerang flight a bit more bearable :lol: weathers been real unstable.

User avatar
basics
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1503
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:00 pm
Location: Wellington
Contact:

Re: Antarctica

Postby basics » Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:07 pm

cant wait to see some pics, i recon Antartica would be one hell of a cool place to have a look around
99 pajero exceed 3.2

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:46 pm

Just flew in from the field today. The dry valleys are awesome. Wicked views everywhere. The only downside is the clear air so everything looks close. Something that looks a half hours walk away looks the same after 5 hours walking haha.
Jon tame i think it is from tv one came and did some filming for an antarctic special which should screen at some point too.
Hopefully I'll get over to Mcmurdo in the next couple days for a looksee. Meant to fly out on the 28th.
Will get some pics up when I'm home I think. Tried again here and the nets just too average.

User avatar
IcedJohnno
Trailer Trash
Posts: 820
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:00 pm
Location: Christchurch nr the hills

Re: Antarctica

Postby IcedJohnno » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:50 pm

Net average - Damned straight!
Tis about 16kb/s from memory and the computers had basically no maintenance when I was there.

Ironical thing is that when they want to, they can open the BB up to get live streaming video of rugby games or interactive viewing both ways with events back in NZ.

One time we had a grandstand setup in the bar with a special event in Chch with Sir Ed and Helen C and many other dignitaries there. They were seeing us on the screen and we them and after a few too many Glenmorangi's we all turned a bit native. We heard later that most of those in Chch had stopped watching the performance in front of them and were watching us. Much fun was had by all and HC was very relieved when at the last minute we decided not to all downtro having all turned around.

I am damned envious about you seeing the dry valleys! Ah perhaps another time for me....
One day I hope to get to the radio repeater on Mt Newall. The spellings different from my name but what the hell :lol:
If its not lit then light Scott's lantern for me please. Is this in the new Mess?

Is Brian Howat's awesome can crusher still in existence? Was at the back of the then bar, The Tatty Flag. Brian wintered over with my bro-in-law.

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:35 pm

Hey man
Yeah the can crusher is still there. Its really cool. What lantern are you talking about?? I saw one on the wall somewhere and it was lit which I thought was odd but don't remember where it was. I'm sure it was electric tho. Visited discovery hut just before which was cool.Mcmurdo is going off being the end of the season. Minkie Whales are coming up in the pools of the pressure ridges in the ice now and there are a ton of seals about too.

User avatar
IcedJohnno
Trailer Trash
Posts: 820
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:00 pm
Location: Christchurch nr the hills

Re: Antarctica

Postby IcedJohnno » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:39 pm

The Mess has all changed since my winter down there. Scott's lamp was in the quiet corner 'nook' where you could chill out and read on the cnr of the mess nearest the Sea and furthest from the Kitchen.

Lighting the lamp is a euphemism, as being an extremely fire conscious Base, there are no naked or near so flames. So yes it would be flicking the switch. :roll:

It may have seemed odd however the context is one of keeping the Lamp lit so Scott can see his way back to Base. He may be some time.... , actually that quote was Oates. Scott has been dead for 98 years come my birthday in 2 months time.

Yeah, I imagine Mactown is goin OFF! I got down about 5 days before most had gone and had much fun there at that point.
More was had at McM after last flight but that's another story...

The ice never broke for 4 years at the time I was there so the only mammal I saw was a baby seal that had walked (on belly) the 3 k's over the hill from McM in the middle of winter. I found him outside the door of the Hanger, gave me quite a fright when he barked. Later I tracked him via the blood trail he left. He was searching for a hole to get back under the Ice, sadly the hole was not to be found.

The one time I went to look at the Discovery Hut at Hut Point, we opened the door to be met by a wall of Ice. No hope of going in there!

I did get out to Cape Evans and was in Awe looking around Scott's Hut. Ross Island, Antarctica is truly the only place on this Planet where you can experience the first dwellings by mankind in that continent, and in near original condition. Even the frozen seal! :shock:
I have many photos of Scott's Hut and even found and photographed a box labelled Terra Nova, the name of the ship they used on that expedition.
My Great Grand father took my Grandad over the Terra Nova in Lyttelton in 1911. GGF knew the ships Engineer, another fellow Scot. GD's stories to me as a wee boy were the first of many reasons why I ventured down there.
If you get the opportunity - Go :D

Have you walked up Observation Hill and had a look at Scott's Cross? Worth the look. If you look South rather than down at Mactown, the view is intense.

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:52 am

Yeah the lamp is still in that quiet reading area. Has a little lamp in it thats glowing. What year did you winter? You'll be in one of the photos outside the bar. Yeah I'd love to go to cape evans but I'm meant to be flying out today weather permitting so that won't happen. Apparently they just melted an old bottle of scotch out of the hut for the original factory that produced it and they're going to try and produce more. Somebody paid big big money for that bottle. Never got the time to go up ob hill either. Wandered up crater hill when I first arrived but ob looks like it would have a better view.
Theres aparently a pod of 60 orcas cruising under the ice at the moment but I havn't seen any. My mates got pics of some minkies surfacing in the pressure field. Pics were from like 3m away and he was complaining about getting spray on his camera from the whales. I wish I had been back from the field in time.
They also canned the polar plunge this year.

User avatar
IcedJohnno
Trailer Trash
Posts: 820
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:00 pm
Location: Christchurch nr the hills

Re: Antarctica

Postby IcedJohnno » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:12 pm

I wintered '05, 7 months with no planes back to the unreal world. Makes you think about consequences especially when you suss out the MASH style hospital over at McM. Thats as good as it gets. Adventuring is kind of an oxymoron down there but a few of us got out when we could.

I was part of the team who created the inside of the Hillary Field Centre.
For the benefit of those other than you Swamped reading this; This building is insulated with 250mm thick poly panel and then has another whole building inside that again. I put in the heating and ventilation systems (they run in between the two building layers and heat the thick concrete floor which has more 250 poly panel beneath it and then 1 metre clearance off the Scoria -volcanic rock, to allow wind to blow under the building to stop snow drifts. I also put in the fire sprinkler system (runs dry til a sprinkler core melts)

We installed what is I believe, the only working lift in Antarctica. There is one at the Pole between the Kitchen and the dining area, but it was designed by the US so you have to walk with your food down sets of stairs ....

The HFC is a 2 storey 1800m2 science staging facility. It can have two 40ft containers (Mil-vans in US speak) inside it and has many rooms and three walk in freezers and a smallish conference room. The regular guys and girls on Base got tired of the 'Beakers' Scientists putting sea creature specimens in with the food!
Yep I am there on the wall.

Have a good flight, the C17's are luxury compared to the old C147 Star-lifters. In them you had to sit with your knees interlaced with the person opposites knees and the pisser was a 44 with a funnel down the back. To get anywhere you had to crawl over others legs. The noise was loud. Muffs for 6hrs. My flight down was the very last C147 to the Ice.

Because we landed on the Ice runway (floating on sea) we did not know when the wheel legs had compressed and we were down, until the reverse thrust came on. The Ice acts like a big sprung surface and just flexes.
Last edited by IcedJohnno on Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
hillfilly
Driving Ms Daisy
Posts: 343
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:00 pm
Location: Northern Buller

Re: Antarctica

Postby hillfilly » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:24 am

basics wrote:cant wait to see some pics, i recon Antartica would be one hell of a cool place to have a look around

basics wrote:cant wait to see some pics, i recon Antartica would be one hell of a cool place to have a look around


x2
Not what if, but why not

User avatar
basics
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1503
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:00 pm
Location: Wellington
Contact:

Re: Antarctica

Postby basics » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:32 pm

ice runways, awsome, do they need butchers down there hahaha

were still reading this page, so keep it going!
99 pajero exceed 3.2

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:18 pm

Ok Some pics
Image
The Globemaster

Image
The Terra Bus

Image
AA Sign

Image
NZ wins again!!

Image

Image

Image

Image



Image
Skull Rock

Image

Image
1.30 in the AM

Image
Discovery Hut

Image

Image
Can Crusher

Image
Dining Room

Image

Image

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:27 pm

And Some others.....Sorry to those with slow connections.

Image
Jack Tame and TV1

Image
NZ Helo

Image
Americans

Image
Home in the field

Image

Image

Image
Miers Valley

Image

Image
Mcmurdo

Image
Scott Base

Image
Erebus

Image
The result of field training

Image
Hagglund

Image
Cool

Image
Us - Event K-020 - Summer 2010.

User avatar
basics
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1503
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:00 pm
Location: Wellington
Contact:

Re: Antarctica

Postby basics » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:28 pm

that has to be one of the most amazing places on eath, awsome photos, you look so small in that pic with the ice, shows how big it really it :shock:
99 pajero exceed 3.2

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:29 pm

Pics aren't nearly as good as the full res ones. And yeah the c-17 was good. The boomerrang flight down wasn't. 10.5hrs. Not so fun.
Yeah I kept forgeting to use something as a scale down there so its hard to judge the photos.

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:32 pm

To get an idea of the valley size. The valley is ~2.5kms accross. from the floor to the peaks is about 900m or a bit more so the pics don't really do justice. The clouds kinda give an indication as to size.

User avatar
basics
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1503
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:00 pm
Location: Wellington
Contact:

Re: Antarctica

Postby basics » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:35 pm

sooooo jelous! :x
99 pajero exceed 3.2

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:38 pm

Seems pretty easy for tradys to get down there aye. Diesel mechanics and sparkys esp. They use army carpenters on scott base but mcmurdo may be different. Its def a cool experience so take it if you get the opportunity.

User avatar
IcedJohnno
Trailer Trash
Posts: 820
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:00 pm
Location: Christchurch nr the hills

Re: Antarctica

Postby IcedJohnno » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:10 pm

Great to see Doug. Which one are you in the K-020 shot by the Scott Base sign?

As ever the shots take my breath away. To those that have not been there, it is very hard to do justice to Antarctica with a photo. Magnify what you see and are inspired in the shots by, x about 20 times and that is the Reality of the Ice.

Re scale
In the first shot with the C-17, that wee red truck aint no small Toyota! It's an F-350 on 38's and the bonnet edge height is at shoulder height. The big truck in the left of the photo shows its scale by the person who is the same size as the wheels! Similar dimensions height-wise to Ivan the TerraBus.

Loving the snowflake detail shot of your glove!
Nice!

Did you take the Erebus shot from the Ice runway?
I have a similar photo and with the VAST scale down there and nothing to judge distance by you think its just a few k away. To me it looked like Mt Grey from Rangiora (934m high and 21k from Rga)
In actual fact Erebus is 3794m high and is 55km from the Pegasus sea-ice runway.

Loving the shots, more please!

User avatar
nzhunter
Hard Yaka
Posts: 672
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:00 pm
Location: WAIKATO

Re: Antarctica

Postby nzhunter » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:33 am

dude that is sooo awesome!!!

sooo jealous....


mmmm future mission down there needs to be done I think
Landy SIIa winch truck- 350 chev powered, cruiser axles, 36" simexs - classic goodness
Hilux KUN expedition ute with all the bling

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:14 am

Image
Inside the C-17

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Front of a E-350

Image

Image
Tent setup at field training

Image
Skua

Image

Image

Image
Field tent - Polar Haven

Image

Image

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:16 am

Image

Image

Image
Photos of the winter overs.

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:21 am

I'm the guy on the left in the photo.
That pic of Erebus is from AFT with my telephoto lens on. I got a couple pics of the photos of winter teams but not the one your in sorry. Just the guys wearing funny outfits. And it looks like the labels may have gotten messed up but yeah NZ beat Mcmurdo 23-0 in the Annual Rugby game. They havn't scored a try for years. Few of the guys were carrying some battle scars in the bar after the game being its full tackle on the ice. I didn't get any pics of the game itself due to AFT.

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:31 am

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Icebreaker and refueler

Image
Mt Discovery

Image
Patterned Ground

Image
Mummified Seal

Image
All our kit

Image

Image

Image
Accomodation on base.

User avatar
NJV6
Hard Yaka
Posts: 2731
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Southland
Contact:

Re: Antarctica

Postby NJV6 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:16 am

Awesome write up swamped. Good for you and Johnno to share your experiences.

And I have a few questions as well, mainly to cure my curiosity (or ignorance!)
When people winter down there, what do they do?
The ice breaker looks to be berthed and there is no ice? Is that further out?
Can you just go walking around everywhere - like the dry valleys?
All the tracks the vehicles are used on are formed snow tracks?

What is a normal (ave) ssummertime day and night temperature?

Keep the pic's coming! Glen
SWB V6 Paj with one or two mods ;)

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:26 am

I think in summer Scott base hovers around -5 degrees. The dry valleys around 0 or -1. It was -9 when I left. Can easily get down to minus 10-20 if the sun is behind a mountain or theres a bit of a wind. it was maybe -8-10 in the shade of that 1am photo.
The icebreaker ran backwards and forwards to the ocean opening up the ice. I'll stick another pic of it up. The sea ice is on the melt so all around Mcmurdo is water atm.
Yeah there are marked tracks for the vehicles. They're always real worried about crevasses on the ice so have to stick to the tracks. A hagglund fell through the ice just before I got there. I think you can drive from Ross island to the south pole station can't you??
If your with the NZ or American Antarctic programs theres restrictions as to where you can go etc etc lots of protected areas. Theres nothing stopping people going down there with their own support however the US and NZ groups won't help out if you get in the crap. Theres quite a few interesting stories about that sort of thing.
As for wintering Jono is probably the best to talk too. I kinda wondered the same thing even though I know a bit of the day to day stuff.
Last edited by Swamped on Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
haydgq
Hard Yaka
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Palmy North

Re: Antarctica

Postby haydgq » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:30 am

Great pic's and reading, keep them coming. :D

User avatar
Swamped
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: North Island

Re: Antarctica

Postby Swamped » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:35 am

Image

This is the Oden running backwards and forwards opening a lane for the fueler and stores ship. The ice melts closest to shore because of the thin ice and the dark rocky terrain around it which retains heat.

User avatar
basics
Hard Yaka
Posts: 1503
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:00 pm
Location: Wellington
Contact:

Re: Antarctica

Postby basics » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:11 pm

i thought it would be much colder than that

speechless as to how amazing those pictures are
99 pajero exceed 3.2

Return to “Where in the world is ORE”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest