Neumayer Station III (70°41'S, 8°16'W), operated by Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, is a German research base in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. The station was officially opened on February 20, 2009. The wintering team of 2009 has the honor of being the first group to spend an entire year at "Neumayer III".
Part of the geophysical scientific programme conducted at "Neumayer III" is the operation of two remote seismological stations, located at Søråsen 71°14'S, 9°40'W) and Halvfarryggen (70°56'S, 7°24'W). Both stations require regular maintenance, usually once or twice per year. In October 2009, a group of five members of the Neumayer wintering team set off for a week-long expedition to both locations. On the way back from Halvfarryggen to the station, we noticed that we were almost passing the 71°S 8°W confluence point along our route. So we decided to make a minor detour and take a short break at the confluence. The weather was almost perfect for taking pictures: bright sunshine, blue sky with a few clouds in between, and temperatures just below -20°C.
The confluence point itself is absolutely unspectacular: it is a flat area, completely covered by the Ekström ice shelf. The area rises slightly towards the Northeast where the Halvfarryggen ridge begins. Apart from that, all you can see from the confluence point to the horizon is a seemingly never-ending plane of ice and snow.
Our means of transportation for the expedition was a "Pistenbully" tracked vehicle with a container on a sledge in which we lived plus an additional sledge for cargo.
Coordinator's Note: All the names here are Norwegian: "Dronning Maud Land" is "Queen Maud's Land", "Søråsen" translates to "South hill" and "Halvfarryggen" means "Half Way Ridge", i.e. it was probably located halfway between two of the sites used by one of the early Norwegian expeditions which gave names to many of the local features and sites.