Left to right: Derya, Susanne and Kerri, in case you can't tell, we are all smiling.

On our second night at Rothera, the over-winterers at the base were invited onboard the JCR to have drinks at the bar. A very good crowd showed up and we got to meet the base’s dive officer, divers, field assistants, plumbers and marine biologists. We had already met the base doctor, Claire, the day before since she was kind enough to lead us for a short walk around “The Point”. One of the over-wintering field assistants, an outdoor enthusiast and originally  an outdoor sports equipment vendor from New Zealand, Alan, made us an offer we could not refuse – a visit to the inside of a glacier! He said that only four people could go at a time, so Susanne, Kerri and I kept this a complete secret until the next morning.

Before this trip, my snow experience was limited to the snowmen we used to make in our backyard in Ankara in the 90s, and in terms of ice, two years of ice-skating experience is the best I can come up with. So while a trip inside a glacier sounded very exciting, I have to admit it made me a bit nervous as well.
When we met Alan the next day, he had already prepared us a set of crampons, helmets, ski goggles, carabiners and ropes each. We were wearing many layers of warm clothes underneath waterproof shells, as if it was one of those days we had to work 12 hours on an ice floe. The entrance to the crevasse was up a hill and Alan said there’s only room for one person on the skidoo, so we sent our very experienced Susanne along with Alan to set up the ropes. Kerri and I walked up a steep hill which got windier and windier as we ascended. We stopped frequently to catch our breath, cuss about the steepness of the hill, and take photos of Rothera lying underneath our feet.

Left: Kerri, Right: Derya, against the beautiful Rothera.

About a half hour later, Kerri and I met Alan and Susanne at the entrance to the crevasse and Alan lead us in. 10-15 meters under the surface, surrounded by amazing shapes of ice and complete silence(other than our giggles), we explored for nearly two hours, completely fascinated by what was around us.

Alan showing Derya the ropes

safety lines that we hooked ourselves on to

Kerri and Susanne

someone crawling down a hole

Alan at the exit

Alan was happy to take us 3 exploring in the glacier

We were having a great time

Susanne is an experienced climber, mountaineer and she guided us on how to do things the right way

Alan and Derya, towards the way out, with light from the surface filling in

Susanne, Kerri and I had a day we will never be able to forget. I couldn’t help but think that maybe we owe this unforgettable experience to

crampons

the ‘favor’ the Dash-7 has done for us!

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6 Comments on Ladies’ day out

  1. elif usuloglu says:

    is that a ice cave? how many different kind of penguin spicies are there and which one do you love the most
    love elif

  2. colin quinn says:

    The pupils were recently learning that the Mourne Mountains close to where we live were shaped by glaciers so the pupils will be amazed to see your pictures.

  3. Deniz says:

    My dearest sister,
    The pictures and your life time experience is just fascinating. I love reading every single line that you have written. And I believe your blog definitely provides an online training for Mr. Quinn’s pupils on their subject.
    Maybe, when you first saw Dash-7 it was not smiling at you in a “mean way”, who knows ? :)

    Ender Abi, when are you going ???? :))))

  4. Hulya Saydam says:

    Deryacim, every day’s experience seems to be outdoing the previous one. But, this must be the tops! I came very close to being KRIM looking at the pictures! Can’t wait to hear about all this in the summer when we are sitting on the balcony in Cesmealti.

  5. Silvia Eckert-Wagner says:

    Dear Derya,
    thanks a lot for your blog. I look every day if there are any news from antarctica and it`s really thrilling to take part in your trip.
    Silvia (the mother of Till)

  6. Ender says:

    My dear Deniz, some day I want to go :)) Congratulations Derya, we are following your adventures :)

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