Mawson weathers wild Antarctic storm

It's a bit breezy

Video transcript

Mawson research station is nestled on the coast of East Antarctica.

Where the ice cap falls steeply to the sea.

As winter sets in, fearsome gravity-fed ‘katabatic’ winds roar down the slope.

The 19 Australians at Mawson have just endured an epic seven day blizzard.

The wind blew between 100-148 km/h, with one gust reaching 244 km/h.

Visibility was zero for days on end.

As conditions eased, expeditioners headed out to check for damage.

While the force of the winds moved fully laden shipping containers, there were no major issues.

For safety, the team followed a rope or ‘blizz line’ to move between buildings.

Moving even a small distance in Antarctic storms is a feat of strength and endurance.

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Australia’s expeditioner’s at Mawson research station in East Antarctica have just endured an epic seven day blizzard, with wind gusts of up to 244 kilometres per hour and zero visibility.

The 19 expeditioners wintering at Mawson bunkered down as the storm raged around them, with strict safety guidelines managing outside travel in high winds.

Australia’s most famous Antarctic explorer, Sir Douglas Mawson, knew all too well the intense and fierce power of an Antarctic storm.

“A plunge into the writhing storm-whirl stamps upon the senses an indelible and awful impression seldom equalled in the whole gamut of natural experience. The world a void: grisly, fierce and appalling. We stumble and struggle through the Stygian gloom; the merciless blast — an incubus of vengeance — stabs, buffets and freezes; the stinging drift blinds and chokes.”