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"Australian Antarctic party uses huskies"



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COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

DEPA RTM ENT OF E X TE R N A L AFFAIRS,

CANBERRA.

T H E P R E S S . PR 89

10th September, 1965.

"AUSTRALIAN ANTARCTIC PARTY USES HUSKIES".......

Two two-man teams, each with a sledge hauled by seven

dogs, have just returned to the Australian Antarctic Station at

Wilkes after three weeks in the field. They had set out to

accomplish combined programmes of glaciological and survey work.

The men and dogs were sorely tried by blizzards blowing for long

periods at hurricane strength and by temperatures dropping to

57 degrees fahrenheit below freezing point.

Each dog team was required, to pull a load of 900 pounds

and the men had only the shelter of polar tents throughout their

journey. When the weather was it its wildest one sledge was

blown over by erratic wind gusts eleven times in eight miles.

On occasions the men were short of food and fuel when

bad weather held them back from reaching dumps of supplies

established earlier in the year. With three sledge runners broken

by the rough terrain, the parties limped back to their station,

full of praise for the wonderful performance of the locally bred

huskies.

The leader of the expedition was Allen McLaren,

glaciologist, of Quebec, Canada. He was accompanied by Robert

Holmes, radio technician, of Umina Beach, N.S.W.; Tony Warriner,

radio operator of Mascot, N.S.W.; and Peter Gibson, plumber,

of North Balwyn, Victoria. Despite the difficulties, the'men .

made important glaciological observations on the movement of the

Vanderford Glacier, 28 miles S.S.E. of Wilkes, as well as

surveying Midgley Island en route. .