This week at Mawson: 24 February 2006

Work-wise, it has been a "catch-up" week at Mawson, with most still trying to track down or find homes for things that arrived on resupply recently, and catching up on routine jobs that have been put off over the period including and since resupply. Weather-wise, it has been pretty windy most of the week, with our Mawson catabatics doing us proud at 30-50 knots most of the time, and only a relative let-up on Sunday and Monday.

Colin J, Geoff P, Jim B, and Ivor took advantage of somewhat calmer conditions on Sunday to undertake a quad ride up to the Northern Masson Range in the Framnes Mountains over the ice plateau behind the station.

We climbed an unnamed peak ("nm10", Northern Massons Peak Number 10) located roughly behind Mt Rumdoodle. We stopped at Rumdoodle hut for a cuppa on the way up, and then followed the GPS route to Central Massons Camp to get around the southern extremity of the Northern Massons and reach the eastern side of the range. From the top of nm10, expansive views were obtained of the other peaks of the Masson Range, David Range to the west, and Mt Henderson to the east. The scenery in the Framnes Mountains is breathtaking.

view of southern Davids

An impressive view over the icecap towards the southern part of the David Range chain of peaks
Photo: Ivor Harris

Northern Massons back of Rumdoodle

Quads approaching the eastern side of the northern Masson Range, with a lenticular cloud over Rumdoodle peak
Photo: Ivor Harris

Quads approaching northern Massons

Another picture of the quads approaching the northern Masson Range
Photo: Ivor Harris

Quads approaching Rumdoodle hut

Quads approaching Rumdoodle hut in the northern Masson range below Rumdoodle Peak.
Photo: Ivor Harris

Expeditioners on quads

On the way to the northern Masson Range, Jim, Geoff and Colin check their GPS route.
Photo: Ivor Harris

Blue Hagglunds and motor

Will B and our Blue Hägglunds and motor during current engine maintenance and repair procedures.
Photo: Ivor Harris

We are currently "Hagg-less" at Mawson. The blue Hagg worked very hard over the summer, and then over resupply with various round trip parties and visitors to be taken up to the plateau, and was in need of some TLC. Diesos Will B and "Alby" A have taken the motor out of the Blue Hagg to repair an oil leak and replace the fan bearings, and our "new" (reconditioned) yellow Hagg that arrived on V4 has not quite been brought into service yet.

Our hydroponics unit is now back into full production, and producing very well again. It was closed down recently for the annual clean out and sterilisation, and some fairly extensive plumbing modifications, thanks to Geoff P, "Pedro", Jim B and other helpers. It is now again gracing our tables with enough green and red things to remind us that soon all the fresh produce that came on V4 will be either consumed or thrown away, and the hydroponics produce will be the only fresh stuff we get for the rest of the year.

On Saturday night we had the social event of the week, a dress-up and indoor games dinner evening on a "winter Olympics" theme. Expeditioners came in three person teams dressed as their country of choice. Winners were the "Italian" team but the "Chinese" team of "Alby" Al, "Pedro" B, and Geoff P was popularly acclaimed as the best made up.

The 'China' team at our 'Winter Olympics'

The 'China' team at our 'Winter Olympics' night last weekend. From left: 'Alby', 'Pedro', and Geoff.
Photo: Ivor Harris

The 'Portugal' team at our 'Winter Olympics'

The 'Portugal' team at our 'Winter Olympics'. From left: Jim, Dominic, and Sara.
Photo: Ivor Harris

Regards to all from the Mawson Crew

Ivor Harris

This page was last updated on 24 February 2006.