Date: 9 July 2013
Wind speed: 10 knots
Temp with wind chill: -52
Health and safety are a priority down here, and it's for very good reason. As we are isolated from the rest of the word, we need to evaluate every situation and control any risk. Rescuing a party is a dangerous expedition in itself, and the Search And Rescue (SAR) team is constantly training.
Nice weather for a day out
Hence, when a friend and I went skiing the Castle Rock Loop last Sunday, we had two radios with extra batteries, two head torches with spare batteries, a shovel, a medical kit, a GPS, extreme weather clothes, hand-warmers, food, pee bottles … when it was a three-hour journey on a flagged route, and a warm -25 degrees with wind chill.
But then it got windy when we were half way, and the forecast became uncertain. The situation was re-assessed and it was decided that we had better not pursue our journey. Happily we were just having tea in one of the shelters on the road and we just had to stay there and wait for a ride back. We spent time eating frozen candy and trying to play soccer (yes, in an artificial igloo!) to stay warm. Scott Base's Mike and Molly played the 'orange boys' and arrived with crisps and drinks in a Hagglund 40 minutes later… and so we just went back to base.
The USAP emergency shelter 'Apple 2'
But at least, we can now start a story with "I was stuck in this igloo by blowing winds, when all of a sudden …" which can look very nice on Facebook … until one's mum sees it (and then the real trouble starts).