Friday, November 11, 2011

Rothera, Antarctica

A large portion of the work force here are field assistants. These guys are super experienced mountaineers who are afraid of nothing and who don’t even bat an eyelid at the prospect of living under canvas for three months in Antarctica. It’s great having them around on base as they are always keen to get out and they do cool things like open up crevasses and take scientists down them. The entrance to the crevasse was pretty tight but suddenly you pop out into an open cavern surrounded by the most spectacular and mysterious ice formations. Many of them look like stalactites, but occasionally one will twist and turn, bending in the most peculiar ways. And they grow in all sizes from tiny icicles, like we get outside, to massive pillars. At the back of the cavern is a corridor which, if you didn’t know better, you would assume had been manmade. It has a perfectly smooth, glassy, polished floor, about 4ft wide. To your right is a high wall, still of clear polished ice while to the other side the ice stalactites continue.

Thanks to Ashly (one of the wintering field assistants) for taking us down there and for the photo.


Amy said...

wow the entrance is small! you look like you're having a great time :) xxxx

Jane said...

Reminds of my youth potholing, but a bit nicer & cleaner, & we didn't have cameras.
Why hasn't B applied for a job as a field assistant?

Rich S said...

Great pictures Rosey! Keep up the good blogging :)