On Sunday last I swapped Davis for Mawson and travelled the ~500 icy kilometres between, on board the Xueying or Snow Eagle — the Basler BT-67 or converted DC3 chartered to the Chinese Antarctic programme and on loan to the Australian Antarctic programme for personnel transfers.
The flight across with ten others heading to Mawson for the summer was over some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world. It was uneventful and comfortable, even warm which I didn’t expect. We landed on the sea ice in front of Mawson station with the spectacular backdrop of the Casey and Masson Ranges of the Framnes Mountains poking through the massive East Antarctic ice sheet in the back ground.
The Basler refuelled and departed for a quick look at Rumdoodle, the ski landing area used once the sea ice in front of the station fails, before heading back to Davis station.