Hike to Castle Rock / by Shaun O'Boyle

Sunday November 8th I took a hike to Castle Rock with Chris Kenry who is a planning support coordinator for the ASC. Castle Rock is a well known landmark on Ross Island, and one of the places where we can safely do an extended hike. Early in the season the route is checked with ground penetrating radar for crevasses, then flagged. We did an 8 mile up and back hike, but it is possible to do a longer loop hike which ends up at New Zealand's Scott Base. Next time. Flagged route toward Castle Rock. There are 2 safety shelters, called "apples" along the route, the first one seen on the left here.

Surface of the Erebus Glacier, deceptively safe looking, but there are crevasses which get bridged over with snow but can give way when stepped on.

Castle Rock wth 12,448 foot Mount Erebus behind. Erebus is the southern most active volcano on earth.

Surly snow bikes, a great way to do this route, but there are only a few of these bikes on station and competition for use of them is high.

It's getting closer. Distance and scale is very deceptive here, and what looks like a 10 minute walk usually takes an hour.

Famous Polar Explorer in front of Castle Rock.

The view from Castle Rock is pretty amazing, with Erebus on left and Mount Terror on the right covered in clouds.

Brief warm-up break at an apple.

Heading back to McMurdo.