The Long Haul
It’s been a tough couple of days for the Ice Team as they have had to deal with steep ascents in their bid to make a fuel depot high up on the Antarctic continent. Today, they have also been having to make extensive use of the ground penetrating rader to ensure safe passage through a heavily crevassed area and only managed to haul their load 7km. Currently the Ice Train is split, as the team have had to use both Cats to ferry just two fuel scoots at a time – with one at the front and another at the rear (see pic). Some scoots are now at an altitude of 2080m, although the remaining six loads are at the overnight camp at 1739m.
The team are hoping to get the remaining scoots up to 2080m by the end of tomorrow, allowing approx. 2.5 hrs per rotation. Once all loads are up to 2080m the team is hopeful that they will be able to move without the need to ferry for the next 27km, before encountering more Blue Ice and subsequent crevassing which is likely to slow their progress.
The weather had been ideal until 1900 when cloud invaded rapidly from the East. Current temperature is -13C.
By Hugh Bowring, Operations HQ