The 2000/01 expedition to Commonwealth Bay had been an overwhelming success, AAP Mawson’s Huts Foundation chairman David Jensen said.
The eight-person team arrived safely back in Hobart on January 17 having completed all of their major objectives. Mr Jensen said the Mawson’s Hut would now survive until its centennary in ten years and likely well beyond that time.
“The team has been extraordinarily successful and we are glad they have returned safely from such a difficult and dangerous task. This expedition is the culmination of five years of planning and hard work and follows the previous successful expedition to the site in 1997/98,” Mr Jensen said.
“Mawson’s Hut is Australia’s most significant Antarctic historic site and the Foundation is proud to have played a role in helping to secure its preservation for future generations.” Expedition leader Rob Easther said it was important that ongoing maintainance was carried out on the huts in future.
“Although the huts are stabilised for the next few years it is very clear that parts of the roof are failing and in need of repairs in the longer term,” he said.
“I was struck by the exceptionally fine condition of the hut’s interior – much of which is obscured by snow and ice.
“This should be removed so that visitors can see the hut as it was, rather than as an ice-filled catacomb with only glimpses of the living spaces.”
Despite spending two weeks in such a harsh place, the team suffered only one injury – ironically to expedition doctor David Little who suffered a deep cut while putting on a set of crampons. He stitched the wound himself with the assistance of the team carpenter Ted Bugg.