McPhail Turrets
7 July, 2010

The spectacular row of wind-sculpted granite towers at the entrance to Antarctica's Wright Valley has been named the McPhail Turrets recognising Rob McPhail's huge contribution to scientific research on the ice.

Rob McPhail, well-known to all Antarcticans, who has flown for Helicopters New Zealand for four months of each of the past 19 years in Antarctica, has clocked up about 4000 flying hours in the region.

The New Zealand Geographic Board approved the name in March and a presentation was made to Rob when it was announced at the annual Antarctica New Zealand conference at the University of Canterbury on Monday night.

Rob said the outcrops that now bore his name were an incredible example of ventifacts, or wind-scoured rocks. He describes them as a stunning piece of natural art.
The name McPhail Turrets was proposed by Victoria University scientist Nancy Bertler. She said she spoke for all Antarctic scientists who trusted McPhail with not just their research, but often their lives.
Snowy Rock

Wright Glacier and Labyrinth, from Mount Thor. © Andris Apse, Antarctica NZ Pictorial Collection: K211 07/08