One of the questions most asked here in Antarctica is “What is your favourite field hut?”
Field huts are provided at all of the Australian Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations as a refuge if you are caught away from the safety of the station. They are also used as a base for science projects and as destinations for rest and recreation when exploring the greater station limits.
Having been to most of the field huts on the mainland stations over the years and changing my mind several times, I have settled on Fang Hut here at Mawson as the ‘best'.
Although a little worn down and in need of a good coat of paint (and possibly some minor repairs), it has wonderful character and is situated in possibly the most beautiful place in Antarctica, nestled in a snowy valley in the David Range approximately 45km south of Mawson.
There is a beautiful windscour a short walk down from the hut to explore and in the opposite direction, a quick hike up the scree slope above the hut offers incredible 180 degree views east to the Masson ranges, north past Mount Parsons to the coast and all the stranded icebergs, east to the mysterious Casey range and south towards the pole.
The hut is comfortable enough with bunk beds for four, a gas heater, small stove and a cold porch for supplies and spare equipment and the large window looks down towards the valley.
All you need is a cryovaced meal, some cheese and biscuits, water for tea or coffee, and some good company and you are all set. Perfection!
Having said all that, Macey Hut is pretty magic with the nearby penguin colony. Of course, there is also the newly refurbished Rumdoodle Hut, not to mention Watts/Bandits/Platch Huts at Davis, Brownings at Casey…actually, I might have to rethink this, I’ll get back to you…
- Kim De Laive (Mawson Chef 2019/20)