Ross Ice Shelf
The Ross Ice Shelf is a large ice shelf in Antarctica. The ice shelf's northwest contains McMurdo Station, the largest base in Antarctica, and the west coast of the ice shelf contains the Transantarctic Mountains.
For simplicity's sake, this article covers the entire Ross Dependency and not just the ice shelf which includes points of interests near the ice shelf.
- 1 McMurdo Station (also includes New Zealand's Scott Base) – Antarctica's largest base
- 2 Jang Bogo Station – a South Korean base
- 3 Zucchelli Station – a seasonal Italian base
The region follows New Zealand time all year – that is, UTC+12 during winter, and UTC+13 when New Zealand observes daylight savings. Why do they need daylight savings when the sun never sets? Nobody knows.
The South Pole Traverse Highway connects McMurdo Station to the South Pole, though realistically, it's a very treacherous route to take. None of the road is paved/sealed. The route is marked by flags throughout the Ross Ice Shelf, so you likely won't get lost if you decide to take this route. See the black marking on the map for a map of the route.
See and do
- 1 Transantarctic Mountains. These mountains hug the west coast of the Ross Ice Shelf, and as the name implies, they stretch right across the continent, becoming indistinct on the western plateau then re-emerging to form the Peninsula. Mount Kirkpatrick at 4528 m (14,856 ft) is the highest of this range and can be climbed. It's mostly ice-free because of the dry climate and scouring winds, revealing its fossil sediments.
- 2 Cape Huinga. A massive cape on the Shackleton Coast, which lies on the north flank of the mouth of Robb Glacier. The southern group of a campaign, carried out from 1959 to 1960 as part of the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition, used the cape in November 1959 as a meeting and collection point. The name comes from the Māori "huinga", which means gathering.
- 3 Blood Falls. A red-coloured waterfall that flows out iron oxide-tainted plume of saltwater giving its reddish colour. As you can imagine, the redness really stands out from the otherwise white ice sheets in the surroundings, giving it a blood-like look.
There aren't exactly any icebergs on the ice shelf, as it's an ice shelf, but there are some in the nearby waters that have broken off the Ross Ice Shelf.
- Iceberg B-15. Was the largest ever recorded iceberg. It broke off in 2000, and it's steadily heading north, though it has been broken off into several pieces, many of which lie in the Ross Sea.
Buy, eat and drink
The only facilities are on the research stations. Otherwise, everything must be brought with you.