Antarctica
Mount Brooke



Warning - this page is slow to load - bonus/lots of photos

Mount Brooke is about 120 miles Northwest (true) from McMurdo. There is a field party that will be working in the Allen Hills nearby, and we needed to install a repeater to keep them in contact. Originally, my boss was scheduled to go out for the placement of the repeater. Luckily for me, after the weather bumped things a day, he had a conflict, and I was next up for a field trip.

It was the 16th of November before we headed out. Last year, by this time I had logged over 7 hours of Helicopter time in 5 trips. In the field party shop there is a lot less flying, and most all of the early season set up, was complete by the time I got on the ice.   But by the end of the day, I'd have 3 hours in Helo time.

We had an early start, it was going to be long day of flying. The first stop is Marble Point, the staging area for the Helicopters. We needed to stop off and top off the tanks, we were headed about as far out as they normally go.

Another Spectacular Photo
Mount Erebus in the background

Mount Erebus is the predominate feature visible from Marble Point. It had actually taken almost a month of being in the Antarctic, before actually stepping on the continent. McMurdo sits on Ross Island, and many who work there never get the chance to step on the continent's land mass. It would be a lot like visiting only Catalina Island, and never getting on the U.S. mainland.

Mount Erebus is an active volcano, located on Ross Island.

Another Spectacular Photo

That's our pilot, Richard fueling the helicopter. The program has three AStar's and one Bell 212, all operated by PHI (Petroleum Helicopters, Inc.).

Once we climb out above Marble Point, and head on to the Northwest, we start out over the Northern end of the Trans-Antarctic Mountains. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo
The photo doesn't do it justice. The Glacial ice is so smooth, and blue, it is amazing.

Another Spectacular Photo

It was about a 30 minute flight from McMurdo to Marble Point, after almost a hour of additional flying we were approaching our target, Mount Brooke.
Another Spectacular Photo

After the morning of flying it was time to go to work, we landed and it was a very clear day. Even though the air temperature was about -20° C, it was very calm and with a little bit of work, we were shedding our coats and enjoying the day.

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo
Bill Nesbit, my boss from last year, along for the install

Another Spectacular Photo
My 'hero' shot...


We flew a little further north to check the repeater's radio coverage, and checked out an interesting area.

First thing off the helicopter, we discovered a petrified tree.

Another Spectacular Photo

Not to mention the strange landscape and rocks in the area.

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo




It was time to head back. We took another route home to get as much sight seeing in as possible. Once again, there is so little I can say, and the pictures lack the ability to display the beauty that exists here, but I'll let them try.

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo


Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo

Another Spectacular Photo

Even the view from the back seat is not bad.
Another Spectacular Photo

For all the hardships of working on the ice, there are also a few rewards, some almost beyond description.


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