There's plenty to see walking around the Davis station operating area

Don't forget to look up

Antarctic expeditioners are blessed to call home an incredibly unique and picturesque environment. From iceberg filled bays, to snow-capped hills, rocky outcrops and frozen lakes, an ice plateau holding thousands of years of weather secrets. Of course, the main attraction is an assortment of curious Antarctic wildlife to spot and wonder at along the way.

With all of these things to see, a walk outside, whether long or short, should provide plenty of sights to enjoy and marvel at. So it’s no surprise that it does exactly that, when you get a chance to look up…..

A walk in Antarctica is a little different to a walk at home. No tracks to follow, no man-made paths, no nice flat surface underneath fresh snow. There is no path, it’s slippery, it’s uneven, there’s rocks to trip you, and wildlife to dodge.

The leader of the group will set the path. Scanning the ground ahead for obstacles and hazards. Leading the rest of the group the most efficient and safest way possible. Hopping up onto rocks, dodging frozen flows, avoiding too much elevation change up and down. The rest of the group will closely follow. Carefully watching the feet of the person in front of them. Trying to match their footholds and steps for fear of coming unstuck.

On a nice sunny day you warm up quickly, shedding layers to not overheat. Gleefully chatting with your friends as you blaze a trail. Stopping to look around and take in the sights. A cold windy day sees every inch of skin well covered, hoods and goggles firmly in place. Heads down out of the wind as you trudge along, daydreaming of a nice hot drink once you reach your destination.

No matter the weather, no matter the destination, a walk in Antarctica never fails to make you feel alive. The sights, the animals, the friendships, the challenge, it always makes for an unforgettable experience.

But every now and again, take the time to look up!

Lee Mason

Engineering Services Supervisor