Photo by Hwfa Jones
Gordon Devine at the Gin Bottle Beacon
I also add a picture, below left, of the Hobbits at the Gin Bottle which shows the
Sledge bag art. Here the Hobbits are resting at the edge of the crevassed
area after zig-zagging as close as we could get in between the holes - we
then skiied in to the Beacon. The slipper skis devised at Halley are
visible, detail below right (Frisby later took the idea to the Peninsula he tells me) and I see
that there were two pickets at the back. By this time 1972 we had moved the
climbing rope up to the handlebars as it was easier to get at there than
slung below at the bottom.
By the time we left it was whiteout so we just guessed on the zig-zags out.
I suspect though it was Changi that actually picked the route! I was
interested to read that people at Halley now go to the chips beyond the Gin
Bottle - never thought of going there.
Incidentally the James Caird is at Dulwich College, south London - now
that's a relic and one you can touch!
[21 May 2006]
How did the Gin Bottle get its name?
Following appearance of Hwfa's question (see above), in Z-fids Newletter No. 8, the following suggestions were received:
Gin Bottle got its name, as far as I know, because of the tradition of
going down to the Gin Bottle caboose with a load of Gin, supplied by BAS,
and making a weekend of it. [13 June 2006]
If anyone had asked me (and you just have!) the
story I was told that the name came from the fact that the first people to
set up the gin bottle depot marked it with an empty gin bottle on the top of
a pole. This of course goes against the safety mantra of not taking alcohol out of
sledge journeys but maybe it was before people thought of such things.....
However, I have no provenance for this and so it could be just one of many
[13 June 2006]
The quite possibly apocryphal story we were fed as innocent
fidlets on arrival at Z5 was that Gin Bottle was so named as a bottle of Gin
taken on an early winter trip froze on a particularly cold night. No idea what
temp Gin freezes at.. Of course to be pedantic, the alcohol would not
freeze until -114C, so you would end up with slush above this temp, and
with a little bit of filtering a simple way to get pure(ish) ethanol.. Not that
we ever tried this ;-)
[See relevant Internet discussion,
or this one.]
[14 June 2006]
I vaguely recall somebody telling me (can't
remember who) that the Gin Bottle was so called
because the entrance was marked by an empty gin
bottle on a pole.
Whether this is true I don't know, but it seems a
[14 June 2006]
David Limbert reckons he was a member of the original party which left a gin bottle there on 28 October 1956.
See his account here. - Ed.