Faithful readers may have noticed some of the later posts have been rather epic, so here is something a little shorter and photo based that only covers a couple of days rather than a month!
Mark had some jobs at a couple of the closer huts so why not turn it into an easy overnight trip. A little manipulation on my part led to the inclusion in the trip plan of an evening walk up Lied bluff. Our planned exit was a scenic route through iceberg alley.
We enjoyed a beautiful cloudless evening to soak up views of frozen fiords and the complex array of islands and inlets in the Vestfold hills, surrounded by ice shelf and a swathe of icebergs frozen in the sea ice. Lied bluff is one of the best viewpoints in the Vestfold hills and is itself relatively well defined and one of the few distinguishable landmarks.
Mark seemed happy enough and it was an enjoyable climb.
Back to Brookes hut for a feed. Brookes is the closest hut to Davis and is reached in well under an hour by quad. We both agreed that it is underrated and we should come here more often.
The moon was to set later in the night so I got up early to check for aurora. Despite exuberant proclamations from the time lapse wizards the next day, I have photographic evidence that there was no aurora to speak of in this starry sky at 4:25am in the morning. Evidently it did pick up not long afterwards, as it often does, but at that stage I was pretty happy with where I was curled up and warm in my sleeping bag.
If Brookes hut is under used, around the corner we found the rarely (if ever) used Rookery lake apple. Aside from helping Mark (as you can see) I took a hop, skip, and jump up a nearby lump of snow for awesome bay vistas. I say it every time, amazing what a few metres of altitude does to the view.
I do love views but I also appreciate the chance to get amongst it and see some of the finer details.
Given that jade icebergs are quite rare a previous party kindly publicised the GPS location of this beauty. According to the wonders of science,
> "Chemical and isotopic analysis of samples from green icebergs indicate > that the ice consists of desalinated frozen seawater, ..." > > "Pure ice appears blue owing to its absorption of red photons. Addition > of a constituent that absorbs blue photons can shift the peak reflectance > from blue to green." > > and > > "Analysis of the samples by fluorescence spectroscopy indicates that the > blue absorption, and hence the inherent green color, is due to the > presence of marine-derived organic matter in the green iceberg, basal > ice, and seawater." > > [Warren et al., JGR 1993]
Interesting to see but if jade bergs weren’t so rare, I think blue would be more popular. Those blue icebergs are really amazing.
The cold keeps you honest and we returned to station mid afternoon but with the common feeling that we should go back out and have another look sooner rather than later…