Greetings Sitrep Subscribers,
And first, an apology for a lack of a sitrep on Sunday. Yours Truly developed a mild case of sitrepitis after a heavy day’s slog in the field documenting an equally heavy day’s slog by the team as they excavated a stack of snow and ice from the Main Hut.
Anyways, Psycho Chris produced some heavy duty drugs today as part of his daily medical briefing and the very sight was enough to cure aforementioned ailment.
Well, another day, another bleedin’ marvellous dose of decent weather. As I write, Ted, Marty and Chris are already over at the hut continuing the good work of clearing the snow. Currently, it’s a sunny -5C, -12C with wind chill, the home of the blizzard is failing to deliver with wind speeds of just 7 knots from the south-east and relative humidity (measuring just how dry ’tis round these parts) is at 70%.
So what mischief from yesterday? Well, a balmy day allowed all planned activities to be achieved. The millpond calm conditions allowed a significant dent to be made in the amount of snow covering the Main Hut. All snow was removed from the northern roof plane and from the upper reaches of the western and eastern roof planes. The lads pulled out all stops to shift approximately 15 cubic metres of snow from the ridges and southern roof plane and Psycho (a.k.a. Chris) chainsawed out igloo-sized bricks of ice, which had the dual goal of further digging a trench to access the roof and also build a protective igloo-like wall in the hope of minimising the filling of excavated holes and trenches with further drift snow.
And here, I must digress. Here we are stuck in the middle of nowhere (albeit a picturesque nowhere), a million miles from the nearest cop shop with a guy nicknamed Psycho whose weapon of choice is a chainsaw. Not only that, he plays banjo (no kidding). Should I be worried? Bloody oath, I should. Do the words Deliverance, Texas, Chainsaw, or Massacre mean anything to you? They mean a great deal to me. Think I’ll be sleeping WITH a satphone and the cops on speed dial tonight, for all the good it’ll do.
Anyways, moving on (quickly), today’s main Plan ‘A’ is the organisation of work equipment, tools and infrastructure at the Main Hut with a view to commencing over-cladding of the exposed northern roof plane of the Main Hut (weather dependent) and the continuation of snow removal from the southern roof plane (the extent of this work will be dependent on roof-overcladding activities).
And finally, our colleagues and countrymen over at Casey, the next nearest Australian base (approx. 1,5000kms to our west) have agreed to provide us with regular weather forecasts for the duration of our stay. That’ll significantly enhance our operational planning, allowing contingencies to be made in the event of predicted unfavourable weather conditions.
So, there you have it for today. Now, what’s that freecall CrimeStoppers telephone number again. . .
(All text and images Copyright Simon Mossman 2011)