In preparation for the sea ice breaking out shortly, it was required that a team took one of our Hägglunds and a groomer up to Woop Woop, otherwise known as the Davis Plateau Ski Landing Area, so that the aircraft ground support staff could get it up and running soon. Sharky, Cameron, Nick and Andy departed station in the old red Hägglunds while Jock and Chris left in the groomer.
The sea ice was fantastic for driving with icebergs frozen in place all around. This of course meant that we couldn’t travel on a straight path but made the drive so much better. Bright blue icebergs surrounded us most of the time with the whole area looking like another planet. After a few hours on the ice we ducked into Bandits Hut for a bite to eat and a chat, with more fantastic scenery around. Andy and Cameron from head office jumped at the chance to get some photos while we were perched up high at Bandits and as we were preparing to leave it was tough to get them back into the vehicles.
Next up we drove through some fjords then up onto the plateau. From the moment we got onto the plateau we could see the Aurora Australis wedged up in the sea ice off Davis station, this was clearly visible the whole way up. When we all reached the Woop Woop buildings we grabbed the shovels and started to dig out the other groomer that had sat up there since September, this took about 30 minutes with everyone having a go on the shovels. Once that was done we called back to station on the radio and soon enough a chopper appeared on the horizon. After they landed we swapped with the incoming AGSO’s and were treated to a spectacular ride home with frozen lakes below us. Another great experience for all of us.