Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Patriot Hills

Aerial view of Patriot Hills (image from Wiki)

hope to fly out to Patriot Hills base camp tomorrow. In the mean time, a little info on this base camp. This camp is set up by ALE, on the edge of blue ice near the range of the hills around the camp that is called Patriot Hills. This camp is operated seasonally. However, the tents, equipments and food are stored in the ice caves for use annually. All human wastes are flown back to Chile for dumping. They also have a solar panels generate most of the base use. Today Nick went through images of Patriot Hills camp, it looks quite good. In fact Nick said this base camp is the greenest among all the base stations in the Antarctica. Time for the Antarctic station to be greener now. They added more facility year after year. But this is still a very basic camp. The philosophy here is leave no impact on the Antarctic environment.

Blue ice runway

There are main tents for the staff, dining "hall" where it is required there should be no phones (not sure why, maybe people want to enjoy buffet style meals thoroughly without ringtones), a "hospital" tent (which no one wants to occupies) and areas for people who go on expeditions. There are food storage caves as well. These caves have enough food for 300 days for the base.


One of the most important tent is toilet. This year they built a nice platform for the toilet (see picture). They separate solid waste and liquid. So we were told do the number one first, then number two :). Women can use either the sitdown or a funnel for the "stall". The reason for separation is on the plane, the waste may thaw out, so the liquid containers are handle differently from the solid ones.

Nick claimed the chef at the base is fantastic, and he cooks the best food. I will have to experience that and let you know my own opinion :).

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