Last week our 6 man crew went on an exploration trip to Colbeck hut and Taylor rookery as part of the Emperor Penguin Project. They were also looking for possible entry points from the sea ice to the plateau (and vice-versa), in case the sea ice route isn't suitable for travel, or alternatively, there is a sea ice blow-out while away from station, and future expeditioners need to retreat to land.
Our first stop was Proclamation Point, where Mawson landed in 1931, before retiring to the hut for wine and cheese. Great to have the chef along on these trips!
The next morning the perfect weather continued so we spent a couple of hours sitting next to the Taylor glacier observing the emperor penguin colony, before heading off to sight some of the possible entry spots for access to the plateau that we had picked out on the map and satellite images prior to departure. A few of these appeared too steep and inaccessable, but after walking up a couple of rocky knolls near the edge of the sea ice, there looked to be two promising spots which may be suitable for getting expeditioners on and off the plateau along rock routes. These were way-pointed for possible future satellite imagery and investigation for contingency planning.
It was a fantastic few days and hope another crew can get out to observe and collect data at the rookery before the sea ice routes close for the season.