Recently four bold adventurers took to quad bikes and explored the frozen fjord and lake area to the south of Davis station. Darren White, Brett Sambrooks and Paul Deverall did pretty well to have a meteorological representative Craig Butsch along for the trip because he arranged perfect weather for the three days – blue skies, no wind and warm temperatures – spring had sprung!
We made Watts Hut our base camp for two nights from which we explored the local area. On our first day we traversed the spectacular Crooked Lake, riding over many kilometres of frozen pristine fresh water which was so clear you could see several meters straight through the ice to the liquid water below. That afternoon we conquered Boulder Hill (157 metres) which provided incredible views in all directions including the Vestfold Hills, frozen lakes, the plateau and Sørsdal Glacier. It was a fun climb up snow and rock in near summer temperatures which peaked at −1.2°C during the ascent. No wonder we were hot and sweaty by the time we bagged the summit.
On the second day we rode to Trajer Ridge melon, which proved to be a challenge because there is no easy way to get to it from the south, which was the direction we approached from. The closest we could get to the melon on our quads was 300 metres, so that’s where we parked and we walked the rest of it. It was a beautiful day for a walk.
On our last day we did some exploring on the way back to station and saw our first glimpse of wildlife returning for the summer. Giant petrels on Hawker Island and pregnant Weddell seals next to a lead that had formed separating the pack ice from the fast ice. But the highlight for most of us was to stand close by and in awe of the mighty Sørsdal Glacier.