Mount Everest Foundation
Supporting the exploratory

Cambridge Austerdalsbreen 1956

The main undertaking of the expedition was to determine whether the bulges at the base of the icefall were caused by ice moving down the glacier at different rates at different time of the year as had been hypothesised. To test this, the team set up 33 stakes on the glacier, recording the measurements between them and monitored the changes in their position and tilt over the period of a month. The measurements revealed that the differentials in the rate of compressive strain were actually caused by the changing shape of the glacier bed. This was confirmed when the experiement was repeated in exactly the same position a year later.

Bill Ward, John Glen, John Nye with assistance from a team of Cambridge undergraduates as well as volunteers from Perse School, Cambridge, and the Brathay Exploration Group