Quad Biking in Antarctica

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by travelingaustralian, May 11, 2013.

  1. johnno950

    johnno950 Long timer

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    Great photos,my workmate did 18mths at davis station,you may see his photo on the fitters board,1996 R Shanks,going to show him your photos and story...should bring back some great memories.
    #61
  2. gadawgr6

    gadawgr6 n00b

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    This is very interesting! I came across a few of the websites to apply to work at some of the station's a while back. Is it hard to get accepted? is this something a lot of people are lined up for? Do you sign a contract? What if you get fired,it's not like you can just drive out of there? I was amazed at at how many different jobs are available. I imagine knowing multiple trades would be an advantage.

    Sorry about all the questions but this is very intriguing! More pics!
    #62
  3. travelingaustralian

    travelingaustralian Globe Trotting

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    Thats cool!! Ill have to have a look on the board for his picture.

    Its not that easy to get a job down here. There are a lot of hoops you have to jump through to get the job. Its not all about the job either. There is a major medical you need to pass, plus you need to pass a psychological test. They need to know before they send you that your able to do the job at hand. From applying to getting the job it was almost 9 months then 4 more months of training. Yes you sign a contract as well.
    #63
  4. gadawgr6

    gadawgr6 n00b

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    I bet it would be petty easy to go nuts there! Thanks for sharing the photos and adventure!
    #64
  5. travelingaustralian

    travelingaustralian Globe Trotting

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    Had to head out to drill the ice at ice point 6 yesterday. As part of the science we drill the ice at known GPS locations. Here are a couple pictures from ice point 6.

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    #65
  6. Nubs

    Nubs Dakarmelized

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    [​IMG]

    This is amazing. Those waves are frozen?
    #66
  7. stevh0

    stevh0 Super Retard.

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    10/10
    #67
  8. travelingaustralian

    travelingaustralian Globe Trotting

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    Heading up to our remote air field that is used in summer tomorrow to collect some of our equipment that is used to build the ski way. Since summer the vehicles have been sitting up there waiting till the sea ice is thick enough. We will drive the gear the 50km from the plateau to the coast then from there we will then drive along the sea ice back to station, where we will carry out annual maintenance .

    I have seen pictures of previous years and I'm expecting to find some very covered equipment. We have the GPS grid reference so we can find them under the snow!!! We will have to dig the gear out and then get it started in temperatures close to or below -50. Ill post some pictures when I get back.

    :wink:
    #68
  9. Keithert

    Keithert Long timer

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    Can you post more pics with the quads in them?
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  10. travelingaustralian

    travelingaustralian Globe Trotting

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    I can. At first I was only going to do a small report with the quads but I have been asked to add more pictures of the experiences down here and keep it going. After all it is ment to be Adventure riding!!! Some have said an exception will be granted for this one as its not the norm.
    I wont be out on the quads for a little while now because the ice is thick enough for the heavier equipment. Tomorrow Ill be heading up to woop woop ski way but we will have Haggs because we will be carrying a lot of gear to dig and then start equipment that has been hidden under snow and ice for 4 months.
    #70
  11. dmaxmike

    dmaxmike former quadtard.

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    I am a former quad tard and a lover of all things extreme, especially extremely cold and what it does to equipment. I guess I’m a bit of a mechanical sadist. Please post more quad pics as well as other equipment you punish in those super cold conditions. Are the 420’s air or liquid cooled? I could never keep the Hondas straight. <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    #71
  12. travelingaustralian

    travelingaustralian Globe Trotting

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    Well I have returned from the plateau with an experience that I know not to many get to do. I have never been colder, the pain was at times unbearable!!! We spent almost 7 hours digging then getting the vehicle started. We had a vehicle break down while up there and it felt like hell on earth!! With in 30 minutes the vehicle that stopped water temp had dropped to -10 from 89c The temps were -50 with 35knot winds which brought the temps even lower. Myself and the other dieso had to take turns working on it as our hands were becoming frozen in about 5 minutes. My camera froze so I did not get to many pictures.

    I have also just found out that I will be a part of a 8 man traverse team that will cross the plateau for 400km to a Russian base in the Larsemann Hills in 3 weeks time. So yesterdays little effort will be nothing in comparison to this trip!! We now have to spend the next 3 weeks sorting out survival gear, equipment and fuel for the trip.

    As we arrived at the plateau [​IMG]

    The wind blowing across the plateau
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    One of the covered machines.
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    Working on the frozen Hagg we were heading up to recover. Here we are clearing the snow and ice from around the fan and belts.
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    Yellow Hagg after we had uncovered it and set about starting it. Temps around -55
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    Picture of the back of the yellow Hagg and how high the snow and ice was around it before we started to dig. We had moved it 50meter here and then it died!!!!
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    Here I am getting a quick picture before getting back to trying to get the Hagg going.
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    #72
  13. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

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    The idea of an equipment failure in those conditions is terrifying!:eek1

    I hope everything goes smoothly on the traverse and you get some awesome pictures!
    #73
  14. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

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    Just out of curiosity, what do you use the radars on the Hagglunds for? Keeping track of each other in whiteout conditions?
    #74
  15. travelingaustralian

    travelingaustralian Globe Trotting

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    Spot on!! That is the main reason. Also at times you also cant see because of the snow thrown up by the Hagg in front, would be a bitch to run into the back of one at 50km/h. We also overlay the radar with the GPS map so we can see icebergs and land in whiteout conditions.
    #75
  16. Keithert

    Keithert Long timer

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    How does one get into this line of work?
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  17. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

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    It's amazing to me that (what appears to be) a basic Furuno radar can operate in those conditions. Quite an endorsement.

    How much of your equipment has to be custom built or modified vs. commercial off the shelf? It sounds like the way that engines work down there is by having a lot of mechanics who have a talent for cold starts, but things like electronics and such which are a little less tolerant of direct human intervention must also suffer from the conditions.
    #77
  18. travelingaustralian

    travelingaustralian Globe Trotting

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    Im not sure if your Australian? But if Australian you can apply to the AAD which is an Australian Government department. For people in other countries I guess there would be the some sort of thing. There is also a lot of hoops you need to get through before being selected, you need a lot of experience in your select field. Everyone down here are the top guys in there field. "Or so we think"

    Most of the equipment we use is commercial. Our Hagglunds are custom made. They are based on the old BV206 Hagg made in Switzerland. We have modified them for the use down here. Electrical equipment in the vehicles are one area that fail a lot. The problem we had the other day was a computer that failed. Which ment it did not talk to the transmission, we had to hot wire and by passed the system to get it back to base. We then spent most of yesterday trying to fault find the problem which we did. As diesel mechanics we all have to adapt to the conditions and all of us had an extra steep learning cerve when we came down here. Nothing likes to start in these temps. At times it can take hours to get a machine to fire up but we know most of the tricks needed to do that. We have been chosen for this position because we all have done very well in our select field. I have been lucky to have worked in remote places all over the world and seen all sorts of different problems. You never stop learning and this job is also a learning cerve. I love the job because of the challenge we face each day. The environment is like nothing I have ever experienced. North Canada was probably the closest I have come to these conditions.
    The radar does at times play up in the most extreme temps, but is still very reliable.
    #78
  19. travelingaustralian

    travelingaustralian Globe Trotting

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    The Hondas are water cooled.
    #79
  20. L.B.S.

    L.B.S. Long timer

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    Simply awesome thread and pictures! :eek1

    Thanks, mate! :D :clap
    #80