A hike full of trials, triumphs, and defeat

Frosty boys and the 'Pudding Run'

Our hike started on a beautiful Sunday morning. The goal — to forge a new path to Watts hut. We left our warm and cosy winter accommodation before sunrise and headed to our starting point just before Sentinel Knoll. A somewhat ominous name for a somewhat insignificant hill. As we trudged our way up our first real incline we became acutely aware of the “lethargy” we gained from the previous night’s festivities. The hills didn’t look tall but they certainly felt tall. We came to the conclusion that earth’s gravity must have changed overnight and we forged ahead.

At the top of the hill we were greeted by an amazing sunrise. We stopped to get a few photos for our copious amounts of Instagram followers, hoping to increase them into the teens, and maybe even beat the prolific Building Services Supervisor Sasha to the 20’s!

Onward we continued for the main section of the journey, quite an uneventful section really. We did however find a new way to Watts that took 1.5 hours longer than normal, and made our GPS tracking end up looking like a snake. Some scientific discoveries were also made. Rocks in the Vestfold hills at this time of year are in a state of superlubricity, but it only occurs if you are not looking at them. Turn around and they change state back to a standard rock, with standard amounts of friction.

As we settled into the hut for the night, we considered changing our plan for the return trip. Defeated by our new and exciting route to the hut we plotted a no-nonsense path back to station. To celebrate discovering what looked like the most efficient route yet conceived for the return trip back to Davis, it was decided we would quarter a 12 person plum pudding. The pudding, baked circa 1990 and well within Antarctic best before standards, was true to its age and had given up its angel share in moisture long ago. As we had already boiled and opened the can there was nothing else to do but consume it to avoid carrying it back to station.

The energy it provided the next morning, together with the well thought out return path, resulted in a blistering return time of sub 3 hours. Easily the most enjoyable hike I have ever been on, nothing but laughter and jokes. This return path is now dubbed “The Pudding Run” and I will forever look back on it as the hike that had the perfect amount of adventure, laughter, and carbohydrates.