This week a caravan finds a new (temporary) home on the plateau and the cane line crew help us to navigate our way…

A caravan on the move

Since our beloved Rumdoodle field hut was damaged by gale force winds a few months ago ripping off the doors and smashing the double plated windows, we have had to come up with a new temporary safe refuge near the Rumdoodle ski landing strip on the plateau. The Rumdoodle field hut is an essential location in the summer flying season when planes will be delivering cargo and passengers to Mawson.

The ingenious solution was to tow an Australian Antarctic Division bright orange caravan which has been fabricated on skis, known as the RMIT (colloquially pronounced ‘Remmit') van up to the Rumdoodle Hut location.

With three bunk beds, gas cooking and heating, and ensuite toilet (bucket) facilities, it is the perfect bit of mobile Antarctic kit to snugly sleep three expeditioners in Antarctica.

Towing the van to the plateau was the job for a big red truck, our retro Pioneer. After a cold start and a bumpy ride on plateau especially for the driver Brian when the windscreen de–mister stopped working on route, the van was eventually towed into place.

Pete the station carpenter ensured the van is well positioned and securely strapped down and Shane the plumber hooked up the gas ready for more of those warm and toasty nights at Rumdoodle Peak. All we need now is a thermos of hot tea and some deck chairs for our next caravan trip at Rumdoodle Peak. 

(…with Brian’s nifty driving and reverse parking of the Pioneer, we’re renaming the Pioneer the ‘Brianeer’ this season).

Cane line crew

This week an intrepid team spent a few days travelling around the icy plateau in the Framnes mountain range behind Mawson station to replace nearly every bamboo cane line on the plateau.

Sticking four metres high out of the ice, the bamboo canes mark our safe travel routes and help us to navigate with our GPS units, away from dangerous hazards in the vast crevasse ridden field of ice on the plateau.

The team covered hundreds of kilometres replacing the cane lines that have been ravaged by wind over time. With a new network of bamboo markers dotted across the blue ice we can’t wait to get back up to the plateau over the coming spring months this season.