National Geographic : 1957 Sep
their heads into the radio hut to ask me, "How're they doin', Commander?" The situation grew so tense that Admiral Dufek flew in to Little America from Mc Murdo Sound. In the course of a reconnais sance flight I dropped him off at Crevasse Junction for a personal inspection. Daring Idea Offers New Hope Skip Dawson voiced his determination to press ahead, but his strained, exhausted face told the Admiral that the prospect was bleak. Lieutenant Smith, seconded by Fields, urged a radical measure. His idea was to blast open the worst crevasses, partially fill them with snow, and then run the trail along their bottoms. If time had not been running out, the prop osition would have seemed out of the ques tion. But the party had been stalled at Crevasse Junction for two weeks. It was now or never if we were to establish Byrd Station this season. Already some officers, reluctant to risk lives in a seemingly hopeless attempt to gain the plateau, were suggesting a substitute lo cation closer to Little America. However, we decided to take one last gamble and give the new plan a try. When I picked up Admiral Dufek for the 388 Crevasse Detector Moves on Spidery Legs The advance party's lead vehicle pushes dishpan shaped electrodes that transmit impulses deep into the snow. When the beam strikes a void, its altered current actuates a buzzer and a flashing red light to warn of the chasm. Secured to the weasel by a safety line, Army 1st Lt. Philip M. Smith stands by to explore concealed crevasses. + Blast rips a hidden chasm exposed by the detector.