From the Archive: Camping in the Framnes Mountains, Antarctica

Camping in the Framnes Mountains, Antarctica. © www.thomaspickard.com

Camping in the Framnes Mountains, Antarctica. © www.thomaspickard.com

My third summer in Antarctica was spent in the stunningly beautiful Framnes Mountains in east Antarctica. Working on an Australia Antarctic Division sponsored project, I was the Field Leader for a three-person sampling team, running a Lake Limnology sampling project.

Being a field based project meant that we spent a lot of time actually living and working in the field. Though the days were often long and tiring, we had great support through the use of overland snow vehicles like the blue Hagglund in this photo. Having a Hagglund meant we could take all our sampling and camping equipment and spend a number of nights away from Mawson station.

This photo was taken just before we packed up our camp. We had spent a cold and windy night camped here. In an effort to get some shelter from the wind, we had set up our red polar pyramid tent directly behind the Hagglund. It offered us a little bit of shelter from the worst of the wind.

In the years since this photo was taken, it has been purchased a number of times for use in educational textbooks and the like. Given I grew up immersed in books of exploration and adventure, I get a bit of a kick knowing that somewhere some young kid may be looking at this photo in a book, wondering what it is really like to live and work in a place like Antarctica.