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People drill into ice.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Adkison

Road less traveled

Joint SAR team assesses route to Cape Evans before summer begins

Above, New Zealand members of the Joint Antarctic Search and Rescue Team (JASART) check the thickness of sea ice en route to Cape Evans from McMurdo Station External U.S. government site and Scott Base External Non-U.S. government site. An overland route is normally established each year between the research stations and the rocky cape, where a historic expedition base was established by Robert Falcon Scott and his British team in 1910. Conservators with the Antarctic Heritage Trust External Non-U.S. government site have worked at the historic hut in recent years to restore the structure and artifacts to their original condition. [See previous article — Preserving the past: Antarctic Heritage Trust restores Scott's expedition hut at Cape Evans.]

Night sky over ice landscape.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Adkison
Screen capture of time-lapse video of auroras seen over Mount Erebus. Click on the image to see the video on YouTube.

The photo was taken by Benjamin Adkison, a materialsperson at McMurdo Station over the winter, but a professional mountaineer and volunteer leader of JASART. Adkison reported that the day the photo was taken the team had to return to shelter due to weather, but a few days later the New Zealanders were able to make it to Cape Evans, which is about 15 miles from McMurdo. "The sea ice is pretty thick around station this year, with quite a few cracks out toward Cape Evans," said Adkison, who also works as a professional photographer External Non-U.S. government site, and shot the time-lapse photography of the aurora over Mount Erebus pictured at right. Click on the image to see the video on YouTube.