When they were first named they were not fully open, but by 1959 they were wide enough to develop a ramp to the sea ice. Some time after September 1959 I was engaged in temperature and thickness measurements though the fast ice in Halley Bay (See 'Thermal balance of sea ice at Halley Bay" in International Symposium on Antarctic Glaciological Exploration (ISAGE) September 1968 pub 1970). Being a dingle day I took it into my head to wander along the ice front towards the first chip and saw that there was an accessible ramp to the cliff top. I then decided to go back to base that way. To cut a long story short, a very cross George Lush (BC) spotted me coming back from a northerly direction rather than from Halley Bay to the west. I was rightly reprimanded for not obeying the rules for safety before we sat down and had a drink.[19 September 2007]
Anyway, as the shelf moved westward the first chip gradually widened and, I think, lost the central headland to become a broad ramp that was still in use in the year that Pete Witty and the IH "Gladys" went through the sea ice*. Pete scrambled out buoyed up by his duvet jacket and complained bitterly that his fags were wet. Dad Etchells who was following in a Snocat was somewhat worried.
The broken area of shelf around the MacDonald Ice Rumples became the large rookery of Piggott Bay (Piggott referred to it as an ephemeral feature). Over the years both chips became unusable as they broke off and relief switched to the low shelf much further east.
* This was in early 1978. The tractor was originally called "Paul" (see Peter, Paul and Mary) and had an eventful life, falling into a crevasse in 1969 and being rescued in 1972. -- Ed. 22/09/07