McMurdo Dry Valleys

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    Hi.  Hope temperatures are rising along with the sun.  Even if it doesn’t get exactly warm, maybe it will get warmer.
    I had a question.  I’ve been looking at a lot of these pictures of the Dry Valleys.  Fascinating places – all that black rock.  I was wondering, where are they with respect to McMurdo Station and how (and how often) do the research people get over there?
    Thanks a bunch!


    The Dry Valleys
    Click on the above to get to photos and a map of the area. The dry valleys are clearly marked.


    Looks like about fifty miles from Mactown to the Dry Valleys.  I think I read somewhere that people usually take helicopters to get there but is it possible to drive it?
    What about Black Island?  That’s a lot closer and seems like it could be driven since it is over the Ross Ice Shelf.  Are there ever caravans that trek across the ice with supplies and equipment to there or other places?
    I was also wondering about fuel.  Being a precious commodity, I would think it is carefully regulated and records kept as to what vehicle it is put in, and when.


    Normally everyone who goes to the dry valleys goes by helecopter. The big reason is that all the ice usually melts around Mcmurdo by december and there is open water between the two. Since the B15a iceberg floated in and got stuck against the northern part of ross island, it’s been blocking any ice that breaks up from floating away. It also is blocking the large waves that roll in during storms, which normally aid the break up of the fast ice.
    That being said. It is normal for a sea ice traverse early in the season along the fast ice to the base at Marble Point. It’s an emergency helecopter refueling station. It’s done with the large tire Delta vehicles. See the Winfly page for  photo of a Delta


    JC…..are you still going to McTown in October or are you staying state
    side? The dry valleys begin about 40 miles from McMurdo and streach about
    60 miles wide. they are in the TransAntarctic mountain range and butt up
    against the polar Ice Cap….or should I say the ice sheet butts up against
    the mountains and the glaciers flow around the mountain peaks and down into
    the vallys. Now that im back home working I should dig thru my traveling
    junk from Australia so I can get the tourist info you asked for about a
    month ago. I know its somewhere in the house 🙂


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    I see I forgot to answer the Black Island question. During the summer I think most of the Black Island travel is by helecopter. During the winter there are usually up to 3 traverses by delta to check up on the sat station there.

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