Happy Campers setting up camp!
So, armed with these valuable insights, Kevin led us first to pick up our food supplies for the 2 days at the Galley. From there out team headed out to the
At the Instructor’s Hut we were glad to have Kevin bring us a pot of hot water and we soon warmed up over hot chocolate. Also, we started on a brunch of cold sandwiches which would keep us fueled for setting up camp. We then assembled and tested our stoves which we would use for heating water later tonight. After preparing our sleep-kits comprised of warm, insulated sleeping bags and two thermal pads we made our way part of the way back where we would be pitching camp. Here there was also a storage for tents and other camping equipment which we ferried out on sleds to the actual camp site a few hundred feet away. Kevin then gave our group a few suggestions about the layout of a typical camp and the positioning of a snow-wall to shield the camp from wind. We observed some of the remnants of previous Happy Campers and quickly decided to make an arc shaped snow-wall with the two large Scott tents acting as part of it which would then provide a protected space for the smaller mountain tents.
The Happy Camp!
Buiding the snow-wall was a little project by itself. This was done by dividing the labour between the team, some of them sawing blocks from the Ice Shelf, while others transported these on sleds to the campsite where the ‘masons’ gave them their final shape and constructed the wall.
We also made a few snow shelters such as the quincy, which was essentially constructed by covering a large pile of our bags with a thick layer of compacted snow followed by digging out the bags from one end and making another entrance at the other just below ground level. The resulting structure is remarkably sturdy and supposedly comfortable. Building the
Eating out of a bag at Happy Camper School!
By now everyone had made a decision as to where they would be sleeping and I opted for the Scott tent which could house 3 people, but as we had a lot of smaller tents and shelters, I just had one camp-mate, Jeff Gee, who was a scientist working on the Dufek massif focusing on correlating rates of magnetic reversals with the cooling time of the enormous igneous body. He and his group would be leaving for the field in a
couple of days. Their group went out for an after-dinner walk while I decided to curl up in my
sleeping bag with a bottle of hot water for warmth and relax with some music on my mp3 player. It had been a long day and I was soon asleep.
At the end of a long day.
An ice fall on Ross Island to the northwest of our camp.