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Entry 6

Entry 6

Prospect Point - Thurs, April 8th

The weather has clagged in and I have spent time trying to match pictures taken by Fred Wooden when Prospect Point was newly built in 1956 with a dozen I took yesterday. We hope his pictures will give us a glimpse of glacial retreat in the intervening 50 years.

 

Then and Now: 1956 and 2004
Prospect Point: Before and after

For our TV cameras this retreat would be ideal if both spectacular and going from left to right. The glacier flank exposed to the bay behind the Hut is less televisual unless it actually collapses for us.

Matching Fred's pictures has proved much harder than expected, not least because it seems he was four or five feet taller than me although, nyah-ny-naah-naah, I bet I weigh more than him.

I had to stand on 3 flight cases and hold the camera over my head to get the picture. Even so, when comparing them please allow for the lower camera position in my colour picture. My lens has also foreshortened the apparent distance from the hut to the glacier when compared with his. All this means that it's hard to get a fixed point of reference common to the two pictures.

With trepidation, (Dr David Vaughan are you reading this?), I would hazard that the glacier has retreated from left to right. But where the change is significant is in its retreat back and away from the hut. Look at the ridgeline in the back of the pictures and then let your eye travel down to the glacier sidewall. Then ask, has the ridgeline dropped, the sidewall retreated or is it both?

So what does this mean? Well, from a TV point of view the change is difficult to see. It looks much less than it is and, for us, sadly it doesn't work. So David, over to you. All I've shown is that the subject is endlessly fascinating and that TV needs instant sensation and calamitous man-made global warming.

Richard Wilson