Part 8: Fossil Bluff

Saturday 1st December

After a final difficult day striking camp and manhauling everything out to the new depot and skiway on Friday, we were airlifted out and moved to Fossil Bluff, where there is a small hut and a fuel depot. We joined Andy and Rob, who are responsible for maintaining the hut (Bluebell Cottage) and skiway and for refuelling the planes that pass through to field parties all over the pace. Although Bluebell Cottage is very basic, it is luxury compared with the last month. It is warm and there are beds, and it is good to have a table and chairs again! Continue reading

Part 7: Move to Fossil Bluff

Wednesday 28th November

Today we took all but essential living kit (leaving behind the pyramid tent, P-bags, tent box, pots box, medical box and 1 manfood box) out to the depot. I had two sledges with my orange BAS kitbag, rucksack, 1 rock box, and the red geology trunk. So a reasonable load, perhaps slightly less than on my our input (either that, or I am fitter!). Ian had a massive sledge as usual. Mike had his kit bag, rucksack and the Irridium phone pelicase. Continue reading

Part 6: Fieldwork III

Friday 23rd November

It has been an exciting few days as we near the end of our third week. Yesterday we had a good, fruitful day in Unnamed Valley and today we walked right to the head of Ablation Valley. We climbed to the top of The Mound, a large bedrock hump in the middle of the valley, where we found some massive boulders on the ice surface. They probably originated from a rock fall onto the glacier surface, at some unknown time ago. We also mapped and sampled some cosmo samples from the high glacier lateral moraines. At this elevation, we appear to be above the drift bearing Palmer Land granite erratics. Continue reading

Training for Antarctica

Ablation Point, Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula

It’s now less than two months until we depart for Ablation Point, Alexander Island on the Antarctic Peninsula, and it’s important that you’re fit and healthy. I’ve been doing lots of exercise recently, and am trying to climb a mountain every weekend in preparation! Fortunately there are lots to choose from in Aberystwyth. You also need to pass stringent medicals and attend a training course set by the British Antarctic Survey to be allowed to go. I attended the Girton Conference in September 2010, and so am excused, but am reminded of it now, as several of my colleagues are attending. Continue reading