January 15 - Hiking the Glacier

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

We took advantage of a perfect morning to hike into the interior, the only day we did. We were the first people ever to climb the peak we ascended, probably the only people to do it ever. This isn't hard in the Antarctic.
One of the downsides of this climb was that while Pitch and I were struggling up the steep slope above, Roy and Maarten were galloping down the easy slope below. What for them was a painfully slow crawl was an equally painful uphill race for the two of us still coming up.

We hugged the inner wall of the cirque since it seemed to be pretty crevasse-free. We found a couple of small ones, but nothing too wide to step over.

Maarten's Rock

None of us wanted to go under the icefall to get a strike and dip on the schist. So Marten did. In retrospect maybe it wasn't as dangerous as it looked.

Home Sweet Home

Although every white speck in the distance was a penguin, only the two at left became regular visitors to the camp. We were concerned that penguins might go after our food but they never did.

The big vertical slab between the tents is a relic of the earliest days on the island. We used the two pyramid tents for sleeping and the two little tents for supplies (the two other tents are out of the scene to the right). We set up the slab as shelter from the wind while we ate. One morning a day or two into this adventure, as we hunkered down behind the slab in a snowstorm trying to eat breakfast, we all said "what the hell are we doing?" We converted one of the pyramid tents to a supply and mess tent and Roy and Maarten took the small tents for sleeping. It worked much better. We could eat in comfort.

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Created 15 February 2000, Last Update