Fossil Bluff

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Fossil Bluff is a British Antarctic Survey forward operating station. The bluff is a collection of buildings and facilities, at the centre of which lies the hut.

Fossil Bluff hut lies at the foot of a scree covered ridge overlooking George VI Sound which separates mountainous Alexander Island from Palmer Land. George VI Ice Shelf occupies the sound and provides a north-south route for travelling parties except in high summer when the surface of the ice shelf is flooded with extensive areas of meltwater. To the west and north-west lie Planet Heights, an extensive range of mountains rising to over 1500 m.

Fossil Bluff is a forward facility for refuelling aircraft and is operated by Rothera station during the Antarctic summer season between October and March. There is a 1200 m unprepared snow runway (skiway) marked by drums 1 km south of the station.

De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft ferry drums of fuel from Rothera to Fossil Bluff each summer to maintain the size of the fuel depot. The station is 90 minutes flying time from Rothera. It is used extensively as a jumping off point for further operations into Antarctica. The next 'traditional' stop for the Twin Otters is Sky Blu, a further 85 minutes on.

Fossil Bluff houses four people in comfort but is normally operated by 2 to 3.

The base has been in use intermittently since 20 February 1961. Occupied during the winters of 1961, 1962, 1969-75. It has been used every summer since 1975. The first people to...
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