Building the Princess Elisabeth Station

Building the Princess Elisabeth Station

Client: International Polar Foundation

I accompanied the International Polar Foundation during the construction of the first ever "Zero Emission" research station in Antarctica.

I spent several seasons in Antarctica, accompanying the construction team and doing my share of work as part of the team on top of taking pictures.

Although nobody was skying or mountaineering, this remains one the most extreme adventure I ever took part in. The team was working around the clock to get the building up before the return of the Antarctic winter.

I still vividly remember the moment when the main building was completed. The feeling of relief and accomplishment of every member of the team was quite palpable. We made it!

  • First pillars

    First pillars

    The first wooden pillars are up. Next step: bringing the modules in and attaching them to that structure.

    • East Antarctica
    • January 10, 2008
  • Tower


    First wall modules are coming in and the tower is shaping up nicely.

    • East Antarctica
    • February 25, 2008
  • The ridge

    The ridge

    Hard at work on the ridge upon which Princess Elisabeth is built to avoid snow accumulation.

    • East Antarctica
    • December 10, 2007
  • Through the ice

    Through the ice

    I was on board the Ivan Papanin when that ice class cargo was making its way through the pack.

    • East Antarctica
    • December 20, 2007
  • A quick nap

    A quick nap

    Posing with the bulldozer. Pictures were a nice way to make a break for these people who were working around the clock to build the station.

    • East Antarctica
    • February 20, 2009
  • Alain


    Alain Hubert giving out his orders during the first unloading of the ship.

    • East Antarctica
    • December 12, 2008
  • Nuts and bolts

    Nuts and bolts

    Finishing the roof of the station, whith the Sør Rondane Mountains in the background.

    • East Antarctica
    • March 1, 2009
  • Traverse


    The Prinoth tractors during the first of the numerous traverses to the coast and back. That 200 Km trip to the coast in those slow but powerful tractors is an adventure in and of itself.

    • East Antarctica
    • December 3, 2007
  • Snow Clearing

    Snow Clearing

    Spring cleaning: Antarctica style.

    • East Antarctica
    • December 10, 2007
  • Insulation


    The station as no heating system. The building is so well insulated that it doesn't need any heating.

    • East Antarctica
    • February 25, 2008
  • Base Camp

    Base Camp

    Our camp during the construction phase. Looking very organised, don't you think?

    • East Antarctica
    • June 25, 2008