This week at Mawson: 5 October 2018

Sunshine and longer days see people out and about exploring the neighbourhood

First ascent for Spring

Taking advantage of the windless afternoons and longer clear blue sky days that have presented themselves this week at Mawson, three expeditioners – Mark Savage, Michael Brill and Donna Wightman – packed up a Hagglunds and took off to the windiest hut on the plateau, Henderson hut. The plan was to stay the night and the next day to scramble up Mt Henderson (951m) in the afternoon once the daily katabatic wind eased.

Arriving at the hut late afternoon with very little wind gave us the opportunity to take in the amazing views looking around the plateau. The night was filled with the usual talk of home, station, family, spending money, holidays and work. During the wee hours of the night as ‘mother nature calls’ Michael witnessed the aurora lights and manage to capture them on his camera.

The next day we woke up to clear blue skies and strong katabatic winds, but knew it was likely to ease off in the afternoon. So plenty of time to read, fall back to sleep, and relax. The afternoon wind did ease but not as much as we had hoped. We got ourselves ready for our hike up Mt Henderson and set off slow and steady. The higher we got the more the wind abated and the views were spectacular. After ascending almost 300m elevation over scree the final 50m required some roped scrambling to reach the rocky summit. Once at the top we had time for a few photos of “we made it”, before heading back down again. The wind had started to pick up again and it was time to keep going.

Once down and back into the hut a sense of achievement was had by all.

Donna Wightman 

Aurora over Mt Henderson
Aurora over Mt Henderson
(Photo: Michael Brill)
Henderson hut and the view
Henderson hut and the view
(Photo: Michael Brill)
A man stands on the route up Mt Henderson
Mark about halfway up Mt Henderson
(Photo: Michael Brill)
2 people stop to admire the view from Mt Henderson
Mark and Donna halfway up the mountain
(Photo: Michael Brill)
2 people at the summit of Mt Henderson
Made it! Michael and Donna at the top of Mt Henderson.
(Photo: Michael Brill)
View from the top of Mt Henderson
View from the summit of Mt Henderson
(Photo: Michael Brill)

Weekly roundup

And in other news, as the days get longer and the sun keeps shining, there's more activity and movement about station, both for work and play. Stocktakes are happening for most departments and in case anyone is worried: we have plenty of peas to see us through!

There was another fire training session for both teams: this time in the EVS which is our Emergency Vehicle Shelter and the repository of most station fire fighting equipment. The scenario involved a fire in the EVS with 2 missing people and was a good learning curve for all, since the first thing that had to be 'rescued' was more BA equipment.

As with the rest of Australia, the weekend was Finals Fever. The AFL was watched on Saturday afternoon and we now have one very sad Collingwood fan; Sunday fternoon saw the NRL screened and we now have one very happy Roosters fan. So that's balance! Everyone else just enjoyed the games and camaraderie. 

The wind dropped out on Sunday afternoon and Pat, Paul, Nick and Mal jumped at the opportuninty for a quad trip to the jadeberg in the beautiful afternoon light. Still a bit cold to be on a quad for too long, but the seasons are definitely changing.

A homemade dummy to be used for fire exercise
Hapless victim in need of rescue
(Photo: Cormac Cullen)
Smoke coming out of a building
EVS on fire!
(Photo: Cormac Cullen)
Smoke coming out of building with firefighter in front
One victim rescued, although looks like 'patient care' may need some revision...
(Photo: Cormac Cullen)
Jadeberg in the background of travelling quads
Jadeberg in the background of travelling quads
(Photo: Paul Seymour)
4 men post on top of quad bikes
Team Jadeberg
(Photo: Patrick James)
A wuad bike travelling on sea ice in front of a mountain range
Enroute back to station with the mountains visible on the plateau
(Photo: Paul Seymour)