Mountain Biking Antarctica.

It is a beautiful summers day at Casey Station Antarctica, it’s a balmy zero degrees celsius, the sun is shining and not a breath of wind. A few of us decide to shoot a short film, a film to show our friends what we do in our spare time. We grab the stations mountain bikes and ride down to the rocky outcrop near the Wharf.

Mountain Biking Antarctica

Mountain Biking Antarctica

Mountain Biking Antarctica

Mountain Biking Antarctica

Mountain Biking Antarctica

Mountain Biking Antarctica

Thank you for visiting Tattered Passport, I hope you have enjoyed this short film. If you have please LIKE and SHARE with your friends. I would love to have you SUBSCRIBE, you can  Follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and on this blog by simply clicking on the FOLLOW button at the bottom of your screen.

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One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.


 

Riding In Hagglunds: Antarctica.

I wake early to watch the sunrise over Wilkins Runway. Its 4:30am and around -10c, However it is all worth it. As I watch that sun peak over the horizon, reflecting off millions of ice crystals, I take a moment. A moment to really see where I am, How lucky I am to be here, to be here in Antarctica.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica.

Antarctic Sunrise: Wilkins Runway.

Wilkins Runway is built on approx. 500m of solid Glacial Ice which moves up to 15 meters a year and is the gate way to Australia’s Antarctic Programs Casey Station.

Today we return to Casey after spending a week conducting maintenance at the remote airfield.  The return trip is only 90km but can take up to 4hrs. It is a long, rough ride in one of the coolest vehicles in the World, a Hagglund. 1hr into the trip we reach the edge of the Antarctic Circle.

The very unique sign creates an incredible photo opportunity and the back drop, well that just takes your breath away. Here you get a real sense of how remote you really are, how vast the frozen continent is.

Tattered Passport: Antarctica

One incredible Sign

Tattered Passport: Antarctica

5 Days later at the Antarctic circle.

Back in the Haggs, we start the descent off the plateau, making our way back to Casey. We pass over some blue ice, taking care not to slip or slide on the super slippery blue is Joe expertly navigates the hazard.

You never know what you will see up here, this time we spot an old 44 gallon drum. The drum is an old Way Point that has surfaced, who knows where it has come from.

Descending further down the plateau you feel the temperture rise, as it gets warmer we notice snow and ice melts. Even in this All Terrain Vehicle these need to be negotiated carefully.

We cross a few of these melt streams and begin to hear radio chatter, we are close to home now. We make our wat through Penguin Pass and get our first view of the aptly named “Red Shed” where all the Caseyites live. We “Call In” to Casey Comms and are welcomed back by Tina the Comms Operator.

Thank you for watching. You if you have enjoyed this post please Like, Share and follow, you can find Tattered Passport on Facebook, InstagramYouTube or simply by clicking on the follow button at the bottom of your screen. 

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

Survival Training: Antarctica.

The time has come, I am both excited and a little nervous about the next two days. Every expeditioner needs to complete and show their competence in all aspects of survival training. This includes everything from organising your expedition paper work through to plotting your course using maps and compasses.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica

Survival Training: Casey Station

As our training day approaches we are informed by the Meteorology team that the weather is turning bad and a blizzard is possible. We carry on planning our training day and decide as a group to go a head. I must admit I am a little nervous about spending 24hrs out in this weather, but at the same time I am well aware how much of a unique experience this will be. Everyone down there needs to complete survival training, but so far everyone has had perfect weather.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica

Survival Training, Antarctica.

Tattered Passport: Antarctica

Survival Training, Antarctica: Feeling The Chill

We have completed all our paper work, collected all our gear and we are ready to head out. We make our very first call in to Casey Communications, explain our intentions and off we head towards Shirley Island. We need to follow the approved walking route which winds its way through a rocky valley. We have a few marked GPS Way points on our maps, which we use to navigate ourselves through this area. I soon realised that this was going to be a challenge. We constantly refer to our maps and compasses, but it so windy. Every time I remove my map from my jacket it almost blows away.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica

Radioing In

We reach the sea ice and call Casey Communications. To walk on ice we need know how thick it is and the only way to do that is to drill the ice. So we grab our Sea Ice Drill and set it all up. We learn a bit about sea ice, how to tell if it is good ice, how thick it is and how saturated it is. As we finish drilling we are visited by group inquisitive Adelie Penguins. It was incredible, they came right up to us and spent a good 10 minutes just chilling and checking us out, until they get bored and return to their colony.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica.

Adelie Penguins, Shirley Island, Antarctica

As we reach Shirley Island we have another training drill. We set up a survival shelter called a Mega Bivvy. A bivvy is a bag that you can use in a survival situation. They are way to escape from the wind, they are super light and easy to set up even in strong winds. We all jump in the Mega Bivvy and call in to Casey Communications. We watch and listen to the weather getting worse and decide its time to head to our next location, The Wharf. Here we will learn how to use the camp stoves and how to set up our personal bivvy bags and where we’ll be spending the night.

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport, if you have liked this post please Like, Share and Follow. You can follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and simply by clicking on the follow button at the bottom of your screen.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

Stand By Me, The Meltdowns: Antarctica.

The Casey Winter Crew of 2013-2014 are about to head back home to Australia, so to send them off with a bang, the new incoming crew assemble a band and quickly put together a show for them. I would like to present to you “The Meltdowns”.

After a superb formal dinner prepared for us by the Casey Chief’s Eddie and Gareth, we were treated to a live performance of a bunch of great songs. Here is Stand By Me sung by Greg.

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The day I start my biggest adventure ever.

Today is the day, the day I start on my biggest adventure ever. Today I leave for Antarctica. After a few delays we all meet at the bus stop in front of the motel that I have called home for the last week. Its a cold wet Hobart morning, the sun still yet to rise, the fog still yet to clear and the feeling of excitement is thick in the air. The bus arrives we chuck all our gear in the luggage compartment and the adventure begins.

We arrive at the Hobart Airport, its a small airport that pretty much only caters for domestic flights, except for the little terminal that is hidden away in the corner, the “Saffire Lounge”. The Saffire Lounge is the rarely used Hobart International Airport which each year says fare well to all the Antarctic Expeditioners. I enter the small terminal and feel a wash of pride flow through me. I am one of a very small selected group of people who are lucky enough to see this very unique terminal and all that it represents.

Tattered Passport

Antarctic Pancake Ice

The flight was not your average international flight, the A319 is a very unique aircraft. The middle seats have been removed to carry luggage, however in this instance the large space allowed the expeditioners the perfect place to mingle. We all hung out in this space, drinking coffee, eating muffins, chatting and of cause taking plenty of photo’s. We were also allowed to walk straight into the cockpit and chat to the pilots. This was a very unique experience. From the cockpit you got the best uninterrupted view of the large expanse of pancake sea ice and huge ice bergs.

Tattered Passport

AAD A319

Tattered Passport

The AAD A319 at the Pegasus

Once we closed in on Pegasus airstrip, the huge glacial runway at McMurdo the US station inside the Antarctic circle, I started to realise how lucky I was to have been selected for the Australian Antarctic Program. Then I stepped onto the ice and it hit me, A huge smile crept onto my face which 2 months in still has not left. It was bitterly cold, -17c but I did not care. I was here, I was in Antarctica. I quickly snapped a bunch of rushed pics as were getting guided over to “Ivan The Terra Bus”, the single most epic vehicle I have ever seen.

Tattered Passport

The most epic vehicle anywhere

After a very bumpy ride we arrived at McMurdo. McMurdo is huge, and I mean huge, I had been told that it was big, but I guess I had no real idea what to expect, but this was not it. My first Antarctic experience was of this massive city, with 1100 people living and working there. I could see massive accommodation buildings, heaps and heaps of vehicles, there was a fire station equipped with a full size american fire truck and I had heard rumours of 3 bars. Was this really the Antarctica that I had expected???

Tattered Passport

Chief Gareth and Sparkie Nessy at the famous McMurdo Station sign

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport, if you have liked this post please Like and feel free to share. You can also follow by simply clicking on the “FOLLOW” button on the bottom of your screen. I will be posting regular updates from my time in antarctica so stay in touch. You can also find Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

One Life, One Search.
Peace Out.
Shane.

(PS: I have been filming heaps, including our trip from Hobart to McMurdo, However due to the limited bandwidth we have I can not upload to YouTube. I will upload all my YouTube content as soon as I return to Australian around late feb early March 2015)