AXØPB Project Blizzard 1984-1986

Project Blizzard aimed to increase public awareness of Australia’s involvement in Antarctica and, in doing so, conserve Mawson’s Huts. In particular, viewed the scientific work, including meteorological, biological, geological and magnetic research of the AAE, as significant. The organization immediately began to look for financial support from the community, hoping to raise capital for a privately-funded Antarctic expedition. The campaign used the slogan ‘Buy a board for Mawson’s Hut’.

The Project Blizzard team carried out two expeditions to the site, the first in 1984/85 and the second in 1985/86. In 1984/85 their work largely involved recording of the site and structures by surveyors, architects, archaeologists and a materials conservator. The red fibreglass Apple Hut was constructed during this visit, adjacent to the Granholm Hut. In 1985/86, they focused on stabilising the internal platform of the Main Hut, which had partly collapsed under the load of snow ingress, using metal and timber props. This work involved an associated archaeological excavation program in areas disturbed for the works.

The Project Blizzard efforts had two positive effects. They clearly stimulated increased efforts in conservation planning for the site and also led to further co-operative efforts between the public and private sector to conserve the Mawson’s Huts.

In 1986 ANARE returned to Cape Denison. The Sorensen Hut was constructed during this expedition, sited in a valley 500 m to the east of the Main Hut. The structure was composed of insulated metal panels.

Meanwhile, conservation planning for the site had begun. The Antarctic Historic Sites and Monuments Advisory Committee was established in 1986.  In 1993 Michael Pearson prepared a Conservation Plan at the request of the Mawson’s Huts Conservation Committee and the AAD.

Source: Project Blizzard — Home of the Blizzard (