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Spartans - Antarctic Huskies 2

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Leader and front pair of BAS team "The Spartans" from Stonington Island Base (Base E) hard at work on the west coast of the Peninsula above KGVI sound - Summer 1972.

I agree (to a certain extent) with the environmental changes which have resulted in the removal of the dogs and a much greater effort to minimise man's impact on the continent, but I get very hot and bothered when people criticise the use of dogs.

Without them the history of Antarctic exploration and development would have been totally different. When the environmental lobby started to get going in the early 1970s, the Stonners crew p***** ourselves laughing when the US representatives suggested we should provide details of all of the sledge campsites since the inception of FIDS as they considered them 'contaminated'. They also suggested that we should be collecting all of the dogs**t deposited on our journeys and return it to base for disposal. Even taking the coprophagous inclinations of sledge dogs into account we calculated that the average sledge unit would produce in the order of 10 lbs of dog & human s**t per day.

By the end of the average summer journey (110-120 days) both sledges in the unit would have been fully loaded with c**p and no room for tents, gear, etc! I can just imagine the reaction of the BAS pilots then if we had depoted the c**p and asked them to fly it out to Adelaide/Rothera.

Drummy Small - Stonington 1971 - 73

Picture copyright Drummond Small

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