Thursday, March 28, 2013

An LMC class and almost sunset station pictures and a few questions

I attended a class on the Logan Motor Company (LMC) polar tracked vehicle. Last winter in McMurdo I was one of the town's Pisten Bully drivers. The winter South Pole vehicle of choice is the LMC from Canada. Produced in the 1980's it is still going strong here. Whereas the Pisten Bully (from Germany) drives with a wheel the LMC drives with two throttle control levers. It is also a lot more fun (and more challenging) to drive.

This is what frost nip looks like - white (in the photo yellow) and waxy. In this instance I had three layers of gloves on and this is the only finger that was affected as I have damaged this area before. It really hurts when the nerves start thawing.

A very windy day. The wind chills are under -120 degF now. The sun has set and it is getting dark now. I am a few weeks behind in my posts.

There are a lot of snack foods on station.

The Polies will eat it. I draw the line at four year old Cheetos though. They get pretty greasy.

Preparing for my Logan Motor Company (LMC) tracked vehicle class. The LMC is driven with the levers near my leg.

Each throttle lever controls a track. To turn left the right lever can be pushed forward while the left lever is moved back. It is basically a tank.

This LMC was made in the 1980s.

I felt like I was on the movie set of "The Thing"!

Super fun to drive although the visibility wasn't very good.

Back home it would be fun to drive an LMC on the beach. Donuts for sure!

Class is over, opening the garage door.

Nicely parked.
I'm still running outside. Although I met my match last Sunday at -86 degF ambient with a windchill of -122 degF.

A 1/2 Sundog from my room window.

The Ceremonial South Pole four days before sunset at 1 am.

My reflection on the Ceremonial South Pole silver ball.

Old Glory flying proudly at the South Pole.

The last day the station basked in the sun. The next day the sun on the opposite side created a 2 mile long shadow.

The ice is ablaze.
A few questions from a neighbor. Thanks Bruce.

1.What thoughts are going thru your and others minds as the sun disappears for 6 months?

It's going to be a long, long, winter. It is a struggle to be confined in the station and to see only darkness. I did it last winter in McMurdo but this time at the Pole it will be two months longer. I have plenty of work and the gym and reading is my passion. Every once in a while the internet works well so I keep in touch with family and friends through email and Facebook.

2.How warm is your room as the bitter cold sets in? Do you have a thermostat you can 
control it? 

Each room has a thermostat. The rooms are vented with 55 degF air. I have yet to get my room above 65 so it is a little cool.

3. Where is the warmest place to be on the station?

The galley and dining area. Currently outside the ambient is -88.5 degF with a windchill of -122 degF.

4. Do the same scientists return from one year to the next? Who has the record for most
time at the station?

The power plant technician and two of the science guys have 9 winters. The record is 3 in a row.

5. With the concentrated magnetic field during auroral storms does anybody have a 
short wave radio or AM/FM radio to see what radio stations you can pick up? Do they
have a ham radio station there?

There is an emergency ham radio station along with emergency HF radio. I don't know if anyone uses the ham radio for recreational purposes.

6. And finally, if you can even mention it, have the SPT guys gotten any photos of 
Planet X / Nibiru lately? 

I'll have to check with the science guys on this. The telescopes here are radio and not optical.


  1. I just read this post and realize that you have been thoughtful about your activities and can't control the temp even in your own room. That is amazing...and I would use an electric blanket. We have had unusual cold nights this past week. I spent two days RV-ing at Paver-Dykes State Forest where we were down to +38F. I did not complain because we had a nice fire and then some heat in the rig. I can't imagine how you sleep or rest being so cold....Okay, I know you can handle this and I am so proud of you! Take care and keep us in the Loop! Love always, Andee

  2. On my way to the Pole I stopped by McMurdo and picked up an electric blanket that I used the previous winter. But they are not allowed here. There are two temperatures here: cold (inside) and colder (outside).