Date: 12th October 2011
Wind Speed: 8knots
Temp with wind chill: -29°C
Camp set up © AHT/John
All staff at Scott Base are required to undertake Antarctic Field Training. This includes conservators working on the Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project, who often are required to work on-site at the historic huts. Training includes setting up an overnight camp, cold weather survival techniques and familiarisation with the environment.
Training is scheduled in advance, and the weather is the luck of the draw.
Our set up weather was benign, with -22oC temperatures and light wind conditions, but preparations need to be made for changes. Tents were erected, guyed and snow shovelled over the tent skirt to keep the wind out. A foot trench was dug inside the tent, a tarpaulin laid out on the snow and sleeping gear set up on either side of the trench. These tents have not changed much in design over the years, and are good at withstanding strong winds.
Our comfortable night’s sleep was awoken around 4.00am by a 20Kt wind blowing snow against the tent, with very white conditions outside.
The morning after © AHT/ John
The Kitchen © AHT/John
This was a very valuable experience in being prepared for, and respecting, the Antarctic environment.