The A-Frame was a sort of getaway for folks at Scott Base, and occasionally for folks from McMurdo as well. "Bach" (pronounce like batch) is New Zealand shorthand for "bachelor pad", and typically refers to a makeshift cabin near the beach. Official media statement follows:
24 May 2009
For Immediate Release
A FRAME HUT FIRE IN ANTARCTICA
The iconic A Frame Hut near Scott Base, Antarctica burnt down on Saturday evening. A routine inspection and change over of diesel fuel tanks, which supplied the heating to the hut, was being completed by Scott Base Staff. Upon re-ignition of the heater the priming fuel flashed over and set fire to the hut. Attempts to fight the fire proved futile as the timber and bitumen hut burnt quickly.
Chief Executive of Antarctica New Zealand, Lou Sanson said, ?We are extremely thankful that no one was seriously injured in the fire. It is a testimony to the skill of our staff that they were able to think quickly and remove themselves from harm.?
The A Frame Hut had become an icon of the modern Antarctic era. It was moved out onto the Ross Ice Shelf in 1971 from the McMurdo Station ice wharf. Discarded by the United States Antarctic Programme, the Kiwis of Scott Base quickly made it their own. It was primarily used as a base for field training and as a retreat for the staff of Scott Base. The A Frame Hut has housed many notable New Zealand scientists, artists and politicians, and was the favourite haunt of Sir Edmund Hillary.
Lou Sanson said, ?The A Frame represented something uniquely Kiwi in Antarctica. It was the concept of a mountain hut mixed with a bach and it said something about who we are. The A Frame Hut will be sadly missed by all those who have been part of the New Zealand Programme in Antarctica over the last 38 Years?.
For more information please contact:
CEO, Antarctica New Zealand
Cell: +64 21 997 992