Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The South Pole markers

It was a beautiful day to be outside with a bright blue sky and a bearable -30 degrees. The temperature at McMurdo today is a balmy +32. It has been an unusually warm summer in McMurdo and because of this the C-17’s with their large cargo capacity have not been flying as the Pegasus Runway is slushy. The airfield is called Lake Pegasus now even though the ice is 300 feet thick as the top is melting. As a result the last package mail to reach the Antarctic was early December. This also includes fresh fruits and vegetables.

It seemed like you could see forever today. I visited the ceremonial South Pole globe, which is like a barber pole, and then to the real Geographic South Pole that moves 33 feet a year. It’s hard to think of the 10,000 feet of ice here sliding across the continent. Each winter a new geodesic marker is designed and constructed by the winterovers and placed at the new pole position. So this winter I will help with the design for the 2014 marker and will have my name etched on it.

LC-130 ready to unload and load.

The ceremonial South Pole marker along with the flags of those countries who are in the Antarctic Treaty.

The 2013 geodesic marker designed by last year's winterovers. Signatures are etched on the bottom.

The ceremonial Pole behind me.

South Pole telescopes.

The "Beer Can" gives access to the station and tunnel to the power plant, vehicle maintenance facility and cold storage.

The transportation vehicle of choice.
Standing on the bottom of the earth.


  1. Your pictures are breathtaking, and that is a whole different meaning from the one where you are trying to find the oxygen in the air....So cold and yet so gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the beautiful symbols of a very different part of our world. Take care and stay warm!
    Love always, Andee

    1. Thanks. As the winter begins and we are plunged into darkness I will probably temporarily stop publishing. There is only so much you can write about inside. This blog is just an easy way to post pix and say a few words but it is very time consuming and a chore.