This week at Mawson: 23 December 2016

This week at Mawson we climb mountains and farewell two of our number out to Bechervaise Island.

Two days - two summits

Well another great week of weather here at Mawson (people keep saying it’s a windy place – I think it’s to deter people wanting to work at the best AAD station on the continent!)

With a bit of work behind us for the week a crew of four of us headed to the Framnes Mountains for bit of climbing. Part of my job here as the field trainer is to take people climbing on more of the technical peaks in the Framnes mountains. Gav, Hilly, Dan and myself headed away for two days.

Our first ‘warm up’ climb was Mt Henderson – a pleasant one rope length pitch. Only a 45 minutes–1 hour walk from Henderson Hut.

The second day saw us based at Rumdoodle Hut to climb Rumdoodle peak –three rope pitches and a nice one hour approach walk.

It was a fantastic few days off station. The views were stunning and company great. Very lucky to be working in such a beautiful environment (job applications are now open!)

Heidi Godfrey 

Four expeditioners on the summit of Mt Henderson in the Framnes Mts near Mawson Station
Heidi, Hilly, Gav and Dan on the summit of Mt Henderson in…
(Photo: Dan Bird)
Gavin Melgaard climbing Rumdoodle Peak near Mawson station
Gav on the way up Rumdoodle.
(Photo: Dan Bird)
An expeditioner climbing Rumdoodle in the Central Masson Range near Mawson Station
Gav nearly at the top of Rumdoodle in the Central Masson Range.
(Photo: Dan Bird)
An expeditioner at the top of Rumdoodle Peak
Hilly at the top of Rumdoodle Peak.
(Photo: Heidi Godfrey)
Three expeditioners on the summit of Rumdoodle Peak
A well earned rest.
(Photo: Heidi Godfrey)
An expeditioner heading back down from Rumdoodle Peak in the Central Masson Range near Mawson Station
Gav heading back down from Rumdoodle Peak in the Central Masson Range…
(Photo: Heidi Godfrey)
Three expeditioners in the Central Masson Range taking pictures of themselves.
Group selfie heading to Mt Henderson.
(Photo: Heidi Godfrey)
The Framnes Mts from the top of Mt Henderson showing a spectacular view
The Framnes Mountains from the top of Mt Henderson - a spectacular…
(Photo: Heidi Godfrey)
An expeditioner heading down Rumdoodle Peak in the Central Masson Range near Mawson Station
Dan heading down Rumdoodle Peak in the Central Masson Range near Mawson…
(Photo: Heidi Godfrey)
An expeditioner abseiling down Rumdoodle Peak
Chris abseiling down Rumdoodle Peak.
(Photo: Heidi Godfrey)
Mt Henderson with Henderson hut in  the foreground
Mt Henderson with Henderson hut in the foreground.
(Photo: Heidi Godfrey)
Heidi Godfrey on the magnificent crystalline rock that forms the summit of Mt Henderson - with the David and Central Masson Ranges in the background
Heidi on the magnificent crystalline rock that forms the summit of Mt…
(Photo: Heid Godfrey)

Man-hauling to Beche

Matt and Lisa, our penguin researchers, are now safely ensconced on Béchervaise Island, approximately three kilometres off the coast from Mawson station. This is where they will be spending the next 9 to 10 weeks studying the Adélie penguin colonies there. 

On Saturday afternoon a team of five (Gav, Dan, Ben, Danny and Heidi) escorted them and the last of their equipment and essentials on sleds out to the island, Heidi finding a path over the fast deteriorating sea ice to the island. There the team helped them unload and then departed with the empty sleds back to station.

An expeditioner with the Beche Island team before they depart station onto the sea ice
Heidi gives instructions to the team before departure.
(Photo: Ali Dean)
The seven member team heading to Beche Is head off Mawson station with sleds
The seven member team head off up the hill on the way…
(Photo: Ali Dean)
The seven heading to Bechervaise Island walk onto the sea ice near Mawson station
And onto the sea ice
(Photo: Ali Dean)
Expeditioners wave farewell before crossing the first of many tide cracks in the fast ice
Gav, Lisa, Danny, Matt, Ben, Dan and Heidi wave farewell before crossing…
(Photo: Ali Dean)
The sleds are taken carefully across the opening tide crack at the narrowest part
Getting the sleds across the narrowest part of the tide crack.
(Photo: Ali Dean)
The team of seven making their way carefully across the deteriorating fast ice near Mawson Station
From a distance the sea ice looks deceptively thick and solid.
(Photo: Ali Dean)
The team of seven get further out into Kista Strait on the way to Bechervaise Island
From station the group appear as ants on ice.
(Photo: Ali Dean)