Following the magnitude 7.2 earthquake on September 3rd, Christchurch was plagued by a seemingly endless series of aftershocks. I experienced one of these tremors on the way to the Ice. In the middle of the night, the Devon Bed & Breakfast rocked back and forth for about 20 seconds. Just before it hit, I heard what sounded like a freight train thundering down the street. Several residents evacuated the building, but I was too tired and simply clung tight to the bedsheets.
Fast forward six weeks, and once again the sound of a freight train was barreling down at me. This time, though, there was no Bed & Breakfast. There was no bed, for that matter. Instead, I was jolted from a sleeping bag by the roar of flags fiercely flapping over the roof of our Jamesway tent. We all ran outside and secured camp, covered the snowmobiles, and plugged our ears. The katabatic winds -- some of the strongest we've ever experienced -- roared all night.
Flapping flags viewed thru the ceiling window of our Jamesway tent
The flags did their job alerting us to the threat. With everything quickly tied down, the only thing lost was eight hours of sleep (and breakfast).
The following day, I noticed that all the snow was blown away from camp. It was replaced by mounds of sand blown from the Taylor Valley. Only our footprints remained. Which is as it should be here ...
Again, our thanks to the schools that donated their flags!