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9-Canwe to the Boomerang-p3

12 January
This morning they woke about 3 am to find a strong wind and very bad drift.  While preparing the breakfast hoosh the weather improved, but soon deteriorated.  The bad weather coupled with both Campbell and Dickason suffering from partial snow blindness delayed the day’s sledging. 

Snow blindness is akin to a sunburn of the cornea and conjunctiva, and may not be noticed for several hours from exposure. Symptoms can run the gamut from eyes being bloodshot and teary to increased pain, feeling gritty and swelling shut. In very severe cases, snow blindness can cause permanent vision loss. http://www.wikidoc.org/index.php/Snow_blindness

The previous day the weather was misty and snowing resulting in the dulling of the sun, but not necessarily the intensity of the ultra-violet. The symptoms not appearing for several hours meant by the time Campbell and Dickason knew of the problem it was too late.  Mild snow blindness can tend to resolve in 24 to 36 hours.

Although they had snow goggles, they were not very good especially when man hauling and the wearer is perspiring.[i] This party will suffer many more bouts of snow blindness before the end of their sledging.  

It was not until three in the afternoon before the weather and their eye conditions were good enough to start the day’s march. Pulling the sledges through soft snow was hard, but they continued until they reached the mouth of the Boomerang Glacier.  At the point  where the Boomerang Glacier, from the west, seemed to merge with the main ice flow they set up camped.  Campbell thought this side glacier ‘may be a possible way through to Wood Bay’, but tiredness and affects of snow blindness meant the leaving of any investigation until the next morning.

Figure 3 - Campsite 12 January 1912.  This view looking down the
Browning Pass with Mount Abbott centre top. The Boomerang
Glacier coming in from the right. (SPRI p48-14-173)

 

 Figure 4  the sledge route and the camp sites from the 8th January at Hell's Gate
to the 12 January at the mouth of the Boomerang Glacier. The x and numbers
indicate campsites and date of the night of the camp.

 



[i] Colonel H G Lyons, p. 32.






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