Monthly Archives: February 2010

Castle Rock Hike: Last Day in Antarctica

For my last day in Antarctica, I decided to hike out to Castle Rock, which is a big volcanic rock jutting out of the ice shelf. It is one of the only places outside of McMurdo that the station employees can visit, although you have to take a one-hour course in “outdoor recreation safety” (which breezes over what was covered more extensively in the Antarctic Field Camp Training course). The trail out to Castle Rock is part of the McMurdo trails system, which, unfortunately for the station workers, does not offer too much diversity, and the Castle Rock loop being the only trail out into the ice. The part that we hiked (out to the Rock and back) covered 6 miles, but doing the entire loop would have been 9 miles.

hiking out to Castle Rock

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Cape Crozier: 5th Largest Adelie Colony

Cape Crozier was the location of the largest Adelie colony that we would visit this season, with about half a million penguins! We went to Cape Crozier with the plan that we would be going there for 3 day trips (which ended up getting scratched). We could have stayed there in the hut, but it was being closed up for the season, and it would have been easier just to fly in every day. The weather there is notoriously swift to change from good to bad, and there was a large chance that we would have to stay there anyways for an indeterminate amount of time (which I would have been just fine with!). But, just like the rest of the season, the weather cooperated perfectly, and we got in and out as planned.

view from the helo flying in

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