Wondering if an land-locked warmie, can get a little info on Castle Rock. Seems that it is a popular destination for local hikes. How far is it from McMurdo and in what direction? Can anyone describe the walk, what you might see and encounter? Finally, does anyone go out there during the darkness of the winter? If not, when do the first excursions to Castle Rock pick back up? Thanks much from Alabama. Hey, it got down to 27 Fahrenheit the other night!!!
Castle Rock is several miles out of McMurdo along the Castle Rock Loop Trail. The trail follows the ridge of the Hut Point Penninsula across an ice field that is heavily crevassed. A safe route marked with flags has been layed out. Along the way are 2 emergency shelters in case a storm hits while you are out. The entire loop trail can take up to 5 hours to complete. After passing the Rock the trail drops down to the sea ice and returns to McM by way of the Kiwi Ski Hill and Scott Base. Castle rock itself looks pretty daunting in the photos, but there is a reletively easy rock scramble on the back side. The views from the top are magnificient. The trail is heavily used in the summer. In winter there are a few die hards that walk the track, but not like in the summer. For the last few winters, Clark W.and I have been driving people out to get them out of town. It’s a beautiful spot to watch auroras. We climbed the rock to watch the last sunset this year, but it was getting pretty icy and I decided against bringing a group up during the darkness. Lorie and I are in Aitutaki, living on the beach by a beautiful Bora Bora type lagoon. It’s our last day here. Next stop Atiu Island=Full of caves and a history that includes some of the fiercest warriors of the old pacific isles. Mike