Monday, February 1, 2010

the South Pole part one--getting there....

The South Pole presented an entirely different landscape---white and sort of flat--although soft swells are created in the vicinity of the station by the drifting of snow against the structures.

Getting there was a bit complicated. We flew in an Airforce C17 over the Transantarctic Mountains, past the giant Beardsmore Glacier, mentioned so frequently in the books on Shackleton and Scott's explorations. It looked like a superhighway of crevassed snow, with craggy exposed peaks on either side. The view was clear all the way but the pilots were getting reports of low visibility at the Pole itself. I had the great fortune (thanks to people at NSF and the NY Air National Guard)  to sit in the cockpit for the entire journey. The visibility did not turn out to be the problem however-- a slight malfunction of the landing gear forced us to "boomerang" (a frequent occurrence here, usually due to weather) and back we flew to McMurdo having been only 1000 feet away from the Pole. The pilot and crew were gracious and generous so the six hours spent in the plane was not such a hardship. We waited at Pegasus field for three more hours and then started all over again, and this time were were successful.  To be continued.....


  1. Mr. Kendzor told me to let you know that I been reading your blog at home and school. What does the South Pole Station look like inside?


  2. Ms. Engler,

    Hi, how is it going there?
    How is life at the South Pole?
    Is it still freezing there? I am wondering if it is still -22 degrees?
    I have been reading your blog at school and at home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mirela, in class 5-501