Adelie Land, Antarctica Traverse

In 1982, I (Mike Savage) was invited to join with members of the French Antarctic Program in a 500 km oversnow traverse. We began at the coastal station of Dumont d'Urville and proceeded by snowcats and tractors upslope towards the Pole for a distance of 250 km. Along the route we deployed four automatic weather stations used by scientists for ongoing weather and climate studies conducted by the University of Wisconsin. The weather stations are powered by storage batteries and are recharged by solar panels like the one shown below.

The journey lasted 40 days and was trouble-free except for the occasional periods of poor weather and whiteout conditions which brought our progress to a halt. The French were fantastic hosts and managed to prepare traditional fine French cuisine in the cramped kitchen that was towed along.

There is a photo below that shows something odd protruding from the snow: this is the tail of a LC-130 Hercules aircraft that had been abandoned 10 years prior to our arrival. The following year a team from the U.S. Antarctic Program returned to this spot and successfully dug out the aircraft, refitted it with engines and avionics and flew it back to McMurdo.

contact information: Mike Savage

Related Sites

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