Fragile Oasis

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The Grosvenor Mountains

This year's ANSMET search area for meteorites is in the Grosvenor (pronounced 'Grovnor') Mountains, a section in the Trans-Antarctic Mountain range. This mountain range goes from McMurdo Station near the coast and travels northwest into the interior (west of the geographic South Pole).

At first I found the idea of an eastward and westward direction a bit confusing when every direction you travel from the south pole  is north. However the cartographers have logically worked this all out by defining that when looking at a map of Antarctica with the 0 degree longitude line "up," everything to the right of this longitude is east and everything to the left is west. This makes sense since this corresponds with the normal labels of east and west longitude.

So our search area, the Grosvenor Mountains, are located at about 86 degrees south latitude and 175 degrees east longitude which places our base camp  about 400 kilometers (240 miles) from the south pole.

To get to our base camp is not as straight forward as say, flying from Los Angeles to Houston. We first fly to McMurdo Station from Christchurch via C-17 military transport, about an eight hour flight and 3900 kilometers (2400 miles). From McMurdo, we receive a few days worth of glacier training and then fly via C-130 to our base camp.

At least this is our planned routing at this time. Let us see how these travels really unfold.