This week at Mawson: 15 March 2019

An update on the last two weeks at Mawson, featuring the start of field training.

Station update

Since our last update, the focus at Mawson has been on field training.

Field training is undertaken by all expeditioners and is conducted in the magnificent Framnes Mountains, south of Mawson station. The purpose of field training is teach safe travel and survival skills when operating in the harsh Antarctic environment. The training features a wide mixture of theory and practical elements: compass/map/GPS navigation, correct use of Antarctic field clothing and equipment, assessing weather conditions, field emergency procedures, cooking meals in the field, pitching a polar tent and preparing an outdoor bivvy site, safe travel on snow and ice, and radio communication procedures. Ably led by our Field Training Officer Ian, we’ve had two training groups in the field so far and everyone has had a lot of fun!

Planning the field training around appropriate weather windows has proved challenging! Since our last update, we have continued to get a mixed bag of weather conditions, mostly lots of wind and blizzards. In fact, we’ve recorded four blizzard days this month already! A blizzard day is defined by the following criteria: temperature below zero degrees, visibility less than 100 metres and gale force winds (34 knots or higher) occurring for longer than one hour.

In between field training, station life has been busy as usual, with section work tasks, project work, preventative maintenance and completing our shared station community and cleaning duties.

Our Cooking Slushy highlight for this update was the opening of ‘Leon’s Labour Day BurgerHaus’. Our Meteorology Technician Leon organised delicious made-to-order gourmet burgers that left us all supremely satisfied!

Kyle (Station Leader)

Mawson expeditioners Tom D & Tom C prepping quad bikes for field training.
Mawson expeditioners Tom D & Tom C prepping quad bikes for field
(Photo: T. Carew)
Mawson field training party in the Framnes Mountains.
Mawson field training party in the Framnes Mountains.
(Photo: T. Carew)
Mawson expeditioners undertaking field training near Fearn Lake.
Mawson expeditioners undertaking field training near Fearn Lake.
(Photo: T. Carew)
Happy customers of Leon's Labour Day Mawson BurgerHaus.
Happy customers of Leon's Labour Day Mawson BurgerHaus.
(Photo: J. Wallace)