Marc Ankenbauer's 10+ year quest to jump in every named lake in Glacier and Waterton National Parks for charity.
168 lakes. Only 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
ZERO LAKES LEFT!!!
-- Marc jumped into Fisher Cap Lake on Sunday September 8th, 2013 to complete his goal! --
Read about Marc and how this project started...

Hut Point Ridge – Seal Blubber?

Vince’s Cross at Hut Point

McMurdo Research Station is on the very tip of Hut Point Peninsula on Ross Island.

It’s just off the coast of mainland Antarctica, but it’s attached to it by the Ross Ice Sheet.

So, I think if you are attached to a continent by a huge ice field, than you are part of the continent.

I’m sure some purists would disagree.  But hey, I’m not a geographer.

 

Countless explorers have made this spot their entry point to Antarctica.

It is basically as far south as you can take a ship before crashing into a large chunk of ice.

Robert Falcon Scott endeavored to be the first person to reach the South Pole in 1912.

Although he did make it to the pole, it didn’t work out well for him.

When I get to the South Pole, I’m sure I’ll elaborate.

Scott also led the Discovery Expedition to Antarctica eleven years earlier in 1901 to carry out scientific research and geographical exploration.

Before that trip more or less no one had really explored the continent.

For that trip they brought a prefabricated Australian hut.  They set it up on the very tip of Hut Point Peninsula and the Discovery Hut is still there.

It’s did tour the hut, but beforehand I hiked up Hut Point Ridge Trail which starts at the same spot as the hut.

Sunday is the only day employees have off, so windy or not…Sunday is hiking day.

I led my way up the ridge as the winds blew.

It was probably about 0 F but with 20 mile and hour winds I’m sure it was much colder.

It was cold but as long as you stayed bundled up and kept moving it was not too bad…

From above I saw the sea ice in McMurdo Bay starting to crumple up against the shore.

Later in the season there is supposedly penguins and seals hanging out.

Today, there was only crumply ice.

The Transantarctic Mountains create the far off landscape of McMurdo.

This section is called the Royal Society Range.  Pretty sweet name, huh?

As I crept further up the ridge I could see back down to the tip of the peninsula where the hut is.

I bumped into another employee and asked him to take my photo.

I felt bad; he had to take his mittens off, so we made it quick.

The ridge led directly into the wind?

It was such an amazing view I didn’t even care really.

But, it was wicked windy.

The trail eventually ends at a place called Arrival Heights.

From there you can’t continue unless you are part of a science group that has permission.

From here you get an absolutely amazing view of Mt. Erebus which is the southern most active volcano on earth.

It’s enormous and often has a little ripple of smoke coming out of the summit crater.

From here you get an amazing panorama of the entire area.

Mt. Erebus, the Ross Ice Sheet, The Royal Society Range, McMurdo Research Station…Jeez!!!

I could only handle being on top for a little while before the wind was just simply too much.

I followed the snow covered trail back to McMurdo.

Luckily I got back with ten minute left before dinner.  Great Day!!

McMurdo Station and Observation Point

A couple days later I got to go on the tour of Scotts Discovery Hut.

Since the weather is so cold and so dry, everything is preserved really well.

There is even a seal carcass outside of the hut that is in fine condition.  Odd…

Inside there are many of the original boxes and supplies that were left there from Scotts Expeditions.

Many of the boxes are even engraved by the manufacturer to say that they are for the expedition.

How’s that for custom production.

They brought dogs on some of the trips and there were even specially engraved boxes for the dog biscuits.

Both the human and the dog food were referred to as biscuits.

How would you like to live in a hut and eat these delicious looking morsels?

Kids, never complain about what mom and dad make for dinner.  K?

Actually Scotts Discovery Expedition did not stay in the hut.

It was simply too cold, so they stayed on the ship and used the hut as storage and a hang out spot.

Other explorers through the years have used it as a cabin though.

The walls and ceiling of the hut are covered in black soot.

This comes from burning seal blubber to heat the cabin.

Cloth tarps were hung to hold heat in, so they weren’t trying to heat the whole hut.

Again, with Seal Blubber!!!.

Again, no complaining folks.

If it’s cold at your place this winter, put on a sweater or grab a blanket…

Or you could burn some SEAL BLUBBER!!!

It was so powerful to see how they lived and the supplies they used.

If you look real close there is a finger print on this can.

Who was it?  What was his name?  Which group of explorers huddled in this building with him?

It brought so many questions.

It is really difficult to imagine living in these conditions.

We have it so good these days.

No complaints here.

I wonder how many men have looked out this same window at the insane weather outside?

Jeez!

So… Off to my warm dorm room!  J

Hope all is well where you are.  May you be healthy and happy?

May you not be eating strange dog biscuit looking things?

And, may you not be heating with seal blubber.

To Life!

 

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