She Who Seeks, Finds…

Published on 08.12.2007 - Fuchs Foundation Antarctic Expedition 2007

The party of British schoolteachers is struggling because they are mere beginners in the art of travelling across the terrain in the Antarctic. But despite that, their scientific endeavours are turning out to be extremely successful!

As the aim of this expedition is to experience some unforgettable moments as they gather lichens and investigate cryoconite holes (1), the team has to keep on the move regularly in order to find new areas to research.

Over the past few days, though, they have found it very tough to reach the top of Connell Canyon, giving them access to the canyon's mouth where the team will be able to find a way through to Patriot Hills. Their sledges are heavy and the party has had to trudge back and forth dozens of times to haul the sledges together up the steep slopes, and compete with slippery snow and endless crevasses. In his dispatch on 28th November, Philip Avery (the geography teacher whose job it is to study the way the human body responds to such low temperatures) reported that on that day alone they had had to negotiate more than a hundred of them!

But these difficulties have not prevented them from carrying out their 'scientific' research. In fact 29th November was a memorable day for their adventure, because that was the day on which Ruth (who is in charge of looking for cryoconite holes) and Amy found a location studded with cryoconite holes. Not far from there, they also located a wealth of hitherto uncatalogued lichen fields, making their expedition a definite success.


(1) To recap on what we said in our first report, cryoconite holes are holes in which characteristic glacial flora and fauna live. Cryoconite is an amalgam of terrestrial matter and stardust that has fallen on to the ice. Its dark colour absorbs the sun's heat and can dig a hole up to a metre in depth into the ice.

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