Trip to Woop Woop
Last week we made a trip up to “Woop Woop” to collect the blue Hagglunds which has been there since the start of the summer season in November. Woop Woop is the common name for the Davis Plateau Ski Landing Area, where fixed wing flights ferry passengers and cargo mostly between the other stations.
Each year at the start of the summer season while there is still good sea ice a team makes the trip up to Woop Woop with a Hagg, the two snow groomers, and various other small vehicles and equipment that are required to build the landing area. At the end of summer everything is packed up and ‘winterised’ until the sea ice is sufficient for it to be brought back to station for maintenance. The batteries are removed and they’re parked into the wind so the blizz tails build up favorably to the rear.
Fortunately it wasn’t too buried! Dane and Luke (Diesos) got straight to work, using the Herman Nelson (on the sled) to start warming things up by pumping hot air through the tunnel that houses the engine and transmission. The batteries were put back in, and a generator plugged into the electric block heater to further heat the engine for starting. While the heater and Herman Nelson warmed everything up the snow was dug out from around the back, the tracks and the hydraulics for the steering.
The GPS units in the two groomers needed to be updated with the latest waypoints and routes so they’d be right to go for the second trip when they’d be collected. The doors were taped to prevent blizz getting in with the forceful winds on the Antarctic plateau, so after updating them we had to re-tape them which meant using the generator and heat gun to warm the tape as it’s too cold for the adhesive to stick.
Greg had some work to do on the weather instruments and I had to do a quick recce for a future install for a sat phone in one of the accommodation vans. We packed up and made our way back down off the plateau with the two Haggs and stayed at Bandits hut overnight, before returning to station.
Thanks for reading, Matt.