Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Winter trips - the not so good

Perhaps obviously, the weather plays a major part of life here. While on the last trip we had perfect weather and I was thinking 'why are we carrying all this extra food and fuel?' It does get slightly less ideal, however and while this does give some spectacular skies and nice pics, it isn't ideal for moving anywhere.

So of course on the next trip we got nailed!

After getting to the other side of the island without any problems, we got stuck on the way home. In 7 days we'd moved a total of 120metres and I'd been outside the tent 4 times!

Tent life! Staring at the walls and working on black belt suduko skills.

Just when things were getting desperate (the coffee ran out), we were treated to a day of passable weather! We managed to get to within spitting distance of Rothera looking like we might make it back for a shower and more coffee when my skidoo started playing up, spluttering and cutting out. However, with a bit of creative load adjusting (getting the others to tow my sledges) and mechanical bodging skills, we made it back in time for tea. Just.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Winter trips - the good.....

One of the best bits about the winter season the winter trips. Each winterer gets two trips, one before mid winter and one after, each around six days long. One of the most requested is trying to get to the semi abandoned chilean base at Carvajal which does have a certain marie celeste charm as well as much nicer sunsets than we get on the other side of the island. It's one big seal colony too which does give it a certain aroma. Which put me off a seafood diet a little.

The 'Carvajal Arms'. Note the chilean 'red death' above the bar....

Travel down there is by skidoo, towing two sledges with enough food and fuel to last for months and all tied together in case one of the 'doos finds a crevasse, although we usually walk through any suspect areas first to find a safe route. It's funny how your acceptable risk level drops when the nearest hospital is 5000km away and they haven't left us an ambulance.

It's about 80km to Carvajal which is a good days drive and blessed with perfect weather we managed to get a little climbing in on the way home thinking that there wasn't much to this winter trip lark.....