|Posted on Dec 30, 2010 08:48:04 PM | Kevin McCarthy | 3 Comments ||
Alvin and I took Field Safety Training Program's two day Snowcraft I (also known as Happy Camper here) which is a basic requirement for anyone in USAP who is going to one of the remote field camps or whose job may get them in a situation where they could be stranded. It is a course in basic risk management and survival techniques, spent almost entirely outside on the ice shelf, including an overnight.
Our class (Mike had gone the previous week) was on 12/17 & 18. We all took the class on a space available basis as we really didn’t need it but it part of the Antarctic experience. After a two hour lecture on risk management and cold weather injuries, we boarded a Delta with all our ECW gear, picked up bag lunches and went out to the ice. When we got out there was a ground squall with winds >30mph but luckily it cleared up quickly. The weather turned out to be balmy (~27-35 degrees F) and after the wind died down it was a dead calm for the remainder of the class. Our instructor commented it was the best weather for the class all season.
Out on the ice shelf we learned how to set up the two kinds of tents used here, protect the smaller mountain tents with a snow wall, dig a survival trench for sleeping, and cook with the white-gas stoves. Alvin slept in a survival trench that night with just his ECW gear and sleep kit. I opted for a comportable mountain tent.
Alvin digs his sleeping trench
The mountain tents
Dr. Sarah Das (front right) makes breakfast for the class.
Alvin making a radio call to the South Pole Station.
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