Râs el Oued Our camp is called Gabbro Hills despite that we are actually in the Lillie Range. But we are in the same rock units as Gabbro Hills. We have been collecting rocks for three days and are already packing 1400 pounds of rock. Today we were especially victorious because we actually found gabbro! In 1400 pounds of rocks, there is only one sample of gabbro, the rock that this area is named after. It has been surprising to not see it sooner. This area is special to the Transantarctic Mountains because it might be the only place with exposed basement rocks for gleaning information about what is hopefully the depleted mantle end-member of igneous rocks prior to the Ross Orogeny granites.
Things are going well so far. We are surrounded by stunning granitic spires under clear sunny skies in 15-30 degree Fahrenheit temperatures on Le Couteur Glacier. This is an incredibly beautiful place. I doubt that many people have the opportunity to travel across glaciers in a terrain like this where only a few people have ever explored. We were on an outcrop yesterday and spotted about 10 paleomagnetism bore holes likely from the 1995-96 expedition season led by Anne Grunow. Incredible!