We had an interesting visitor today. Currently two people are attempting to cross Antarctica unsupported. Louis Rudd arrived at Pole today. He is a British explorer attempting the trek. The American Colin O’Brady arrived last night around 3 am so I did not get any pictures of him. The other person in the pictures is from Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions. He was only there to help take a few pictures. A few people from Pole decided to go out say hi. And maybe also to slow him down a bit and give America bit of a better lead.
The two explorers are currently racing to see who becomes the first person to make the trek. You can read more about them at The New York Times.
I found out recently that the South Pole receives a large amount of tourist during summer. They can stay for a couple of hours to take pictures at the Pole to staying even longer and getting a tour of Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and some even stay the night at their camp.
The companies that run these trips setup an small city camp where they can stay and have an extremely complex logistics plan to accommodate safely moving all these people. They bring in tents and their own vehicles. Not a small undertaking considering they are not backed by any government agencies.
The South Pole Traverse invited everyone to an open house to see the living conditions while they drive from McMurdo to South Pole for one month.
It is quite a living area. They carry with them a couple of generators, a refrigeration unit for food, their living quarters, and a kitchen. They even have a washer/dryer and a shower. You just have to melt some snow to take a shower or wash laundry.
South Pole Traverse arrived at Pole the other day. The drove all the way from McMurdo dragging much needed fuel to power South Pole. It takes them about a month to make the drive. They drag not only their fuel but also their living quarters with them. Imagine spending an entire month 12 hours a day at 3-4 mph. With nothing but flat snow in all directions for most of the trip. That is their life. Now they offload all the extra fuel but what they need to get home and refuel and do it again. We will have 3 traverses this year. The second traverse team has already left McMurdo.
I took a few pictures of Williams Field on my way back to Pole.
I’m back in McMurdo for a couple of weeks. I have been working on a few projects here that have kept me busy. To cap it all off I got to go do something awesome. I’m headed back to Pole in a few days.
I got to go help replace a failed piece of equipment at Mount Discovery. It was a beautiful day and an amazing trip. We got the repeater near the top of the mountain back up and running.
I’m going retro with this post. The McMurdo Vinyl Room headed up by our Broadcast Engineer Elizabeth is an amazing piece of McMurdo history. The DJs in McMurdo still use these vinyl records on air. They have a server based play out system they can use but to ramp up the nostalgia many of them enjoy playing these.
The American Forces Network used to send all the media to McMurdo over these. Now it’s a bit easier with CDs, DVDs and satellite feeds.
I finally walked out to The South Pole marker. I couldn’t go to the actual marker itself as there is a large hole next to it. So this was the closest I could get to it. They will update it on January 1st. It moves about 30 feet each year.