Friday, July 29, 2016

77 - Trip to Woop Woop and a sneak preview of the sun......

Hello friends

Its been a busy couple week since my last post so this post is more pics than me jibber jabbering on.  So the week before last 4 of us including myself went up to woop woop to retrieve some machines. There was 2 Prinoth snow groomers which we use over summer to make the skiways and a Skid Steer  (Bob Cat but with tracks). Planning had taken place the week before and all the i's had been dotted and t's crossed. We were heading up with 2 Hagglunds and trailers on both.

After a quick stop at Bandits field hut on the way we finally made it up at woop woop finally arriving we had our first look at the machines.

Pic Chris Burnes

We were expecting them to be a little blizzed in. We did see some pics from a month ago but since then things have changed a little, well changed a lot and it wasn't all good.  After being there for 5 minutes Chris found out how big the blizz trails were by slipping down one.....



Then there was the small matter of the machines being blizzed in............

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

So after arriving at 4pm on Tuesday and working through till about 7pm. We weren't going to have light till about 1030am so we decided to have a late start and and after getting one of the groomers out with the help of the skid steer we got going the day before. That took a majority of the day and if we had of had only about another 4 hours we would have got everything out and going. Wasnt going to happen.........

Below is a pic that has been in my mind for sometime. Morning light in the sastrugi or wind blown lumps in the snow. It was the first time in over 40 days we had seen the sun and it was a little bit before the others on station. The sun there didn't actually come up above the horizon for another 5 days as up on the plateau was at 600m elevation
Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Michael Goldstein
 Huts in the line the first little one in the line is what the four of us spent all out time in while up there!!

Pic Chris Burnes



Nice little video I shot up there before the big blow. It gives a good idea what it was like before it got really bad.
Video Michael Goldstein

Once it did get bad it basically laid us out for 2 days. The wind picked up to 55+ knots shcking the hut we were in to the point of waking me up. That's fine though as 12 hours sleep a day is ample i think. I did make going outside interesting though.

Pic Michael Goldstein

On the wall of the workshop van there was some nice designs of frost..............

Pic Michael Goldstein
Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein

Pic Michael Goldstein


Pic Michael Goldstein

SO it began to blow........and blow and blow. Was probably around -35c then add the windchill took it to around the -55c so it was a little coolish. The video below shows you how warm we got the hut, and by hot i mean hot as i think we got it to around +33c. So what became interesting is when we opened the door to go to the other hut.....the massive change in temperature was like a instant smoke machine was very cool.......

Vid Michael Goldstein

So 2 days and it continued for and 2am Sat morning it stopped enough to start getting ready to leave. Mind you it wasn't until 1030am when we saw how much work we really had to do. We continued from 2am plugging machines into power to start warming the engines, packing up the camp, digging out the machines and loading the sleds....

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes



Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes
SNOW EVERYWHERE............
Pic Chris Burnes


Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes


Pic Chris Burnes
The hole the machine above was in.......

Pic Chris Burnes














Everything loaded up ready to start the long trip back to station.........

Pic Chris Burnes
The Groomer tillers loaded up on their sled.........
Pic Chris Burnes

The two Haggs on our way back......

Pic Chris Burnes

Pic Chris Burnes

SO a brilliant shot here by Chris.........on the first night before the blizz we also had a little aurora and Chris got a great one here.......

Pic Chris Burnes

Finally after starting at 2am we finally rolled onto station at 530pm.........just in time for a cocktail party. Think i ended up only having one drink scoffed some food and i was asleep before i hit the bed. This body isn't made for 15 1/2 hours work and no sleep for 36 hours. I was very happy to be back............

Back on station had a good sleep in on the Sunday, then the blizz followed us down to station. Overnight it blew over a meter onto most blizz trails. What did make it interesting we had a fire alarm go off at 4am in the science building. I was on fire team and i have the position of BA control (looking after the guys air timing and stuff to make sure they don't run out). My position means i buddy up with the Fire Chief and follow him around. So we walk outside after putting on our gear and start down the stairs where we have a  wall of snow we have to clomp over and about a 1' soft snow everywhere. Enough to go over the top of the glacier boot and go into them, not fun until it was deemed to be a false alarm then i do remember laughing at how much snow had collected in the time we had been asleep.

Pic Michael Goldstein
The hut you see in the pic above is actually infront of the dark green building centre of picture. Its a normal 20' container on footings so its probably about 3.5-4m high and all you can see is the vents on the roof......

Pic Michael Goldstein
It's been a busy couple weeks, sleep has been escaping me lately. Sleeping patterns have been all over the shop. Anyway better finish this one here rather than blabber on too much been trying to finish this blog for over a week and sleep has been beating me to it.........

Take Care,

Michael

P.S...........A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
                Steve Martin