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Chapter 19
Glacier Travel with Heavy Machinery

  • Use extreme caution when travelling in a vehicle in glaciated terrain.

  • There is no practical system that allows vehicles (other than snowmobiles) to be safeguarded in the event of a crevasse fall.

  • Vehicles should only be used on predetermined safe routes. Go around crevassed areas, leaving a wide margin of safety.

  • If your field work requires travel through glaciated areas, use rigorous research, interviews, and investigation to determine any previous history of the route. Many "new" routes have an interesting and sometimes disastrous history.

  • Before committing heavy equipment to a route in unknown terrain, reconnoiter the route first by aircraft, and then by snowmobiles and sledges.

  • Always carry survival gear in the cab of the vehicle. It's a good idea to also carry a spare set of clothing, in case fuel or other liquids leak onto your clothes. Wear a climbing harness to facilitate a quick rescue.

  • If a vehicle breaks through a small crevasse, continue driving forward and the tracks may climb out of the crevasse.

  • If you fall into a crevasse with a vehicle, kill the engine immediately to prevent carbon monoxide buildup in the crevasse, and subsequent carbon monoxide poisoning.

On to Chapter 20: Antarctic navigation


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