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Norwegian-American Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica

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The Rock meets the mountains

by Kirsty Langley — sist endret 22.02.2009 - 23:06

After months travelling over a huge white expanse, our perfect horizon punctuated only on occasion by something more real than a day dream, the expectation of the approaching coastal mountains began to increase.

Location: Tønnesenbreen, 71º 58’ S, 3º 32’ E, 1710 metres a.s.l.
Weather: Clear, -25 C, wind 6 kts

I was the last to see them. Sat in the Rock for our 24 hour drive out of the storm, my windows were completely and thickly iced over. I stepped out into brilliant sunshine, a gentle breeze and large rocky outcrops interrupting my line of sight. The large dark brown intrusions into our world were a magnet to the eye. The Rock had found it’s own.

The drive down to the lowlands the next morning was spectacular. The crystal clear air and lack of reference points makes it very difficult to comprehend scale, and I feel sure I would have been doubly impressed had I seen the small dot of a climber scaling the walls of stone. The light jovial mood only increased as we were welcomed back to civilization by the Troll crew with the cake of all cakes.

The polar plateau is a fantastic world of variety where one learns to appreciate the small and the subtle, where we are the largest and yet the smallest parts. We have all come to feel a part of this, enjoying it’s treasures to the full. The mountains are a welcoming sight, but I wonder if it’s more because they signify the nearing of the end, a return to relative normality.


13feb

Britt, the chef at Troll Station, greeted us with this wonderful cake.


13febkake


The Rock finds it’s own.  Photo: Stein Tronstad/NPI


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