The Longest Countdown Ever

It’s finally starting to sink in that I’m moving to Antarctica for 9 months. It feels like a lifetime away and that there are still plenty of roadblocks that could prevent me from getting to the ice. But it’s actually only 5 or 6 weeks out. Exact dates are still getting sorted out. Hopefully I’ll have a better idea soon, plane tickets don’t buy themselves.

I’ve had two more questions get added to the list of regular questions:

“What are you going to wear?”

“What are you going to DO?”

Well, it turns out that I didn’t really need to get anything in terms of clothes. The National Science Foundation will provide me with my Big Red Parka and some sort of insulated pants. The rest of the time it’ll be jeans and t-shirts. Now, that being said, I’m a climber. I’ve got some way better gear than what I think they’re providing. It’ll be a good opportunity to try out new gear combinations in case I opt to climb something particularly big and cold in the near future.It’s not often that you’re front yard is a barren icy wasteland. So if something isn’t warm enough, I’ll just walk my happy ass back inside and grab another jacket. The real danger is my mountain rescue pro-deals and a good excuse to upgrade my gear. Because, hey, pro-deals don’t use themselves.

Now, what am I going to do. During the interviews, I was told to expect to see about 5 patients per week. I usually see 5 patients before lunch. And that’s an early lunch. So the things on my list for the next 9 months:

Learn Russian. In case I go back. Assuming the Russians will let me back in. I had the basics at one point, so it shouldn’t be terrible. I can still count to five, order a coffee and tell someone “for me is necessary to buy a ticket.” Not really sure what kind of ticket I’m trying to buy, but that’s half the adventure.

Learn to work on diesel engines. My friend Jared recently gave me a crash course on diesel engines while we were on his house boat. It’s not so scary. Really, it’s just cardiology. Except I don’t get to hold a beating heart. Which, if you’ve never done it, I highly recommend it. It’s like being in  Temple of Doom. KALIII-MAAAAAA!!!!!

Workout. A lot. Especially once we go total darkness. It’s good for the noggin. And kills a lot of time. And I’m going to have a fair bit of down time I think.

Ice climb. Obviously. There are giant and not so giant ice formations all over the place. While the weather is good, I’m going to be all over those things. And since they only exist for one season, I’m going to be logging first ascents like nobody’s business. Once the weather turns really cold, I’ll still climb. Just not outside per say. There are tunnels around and they remain around 32F, so should be perfect. I’ll climb side-to-side instead of up and down.


After that, fucked if I know.

I’ve got some pretty rad adventures coming up in the next few weeks, but I’m really just waiting to get to the ice.

I’m moving to Antarctica. For 9 months. In 6 weeks. Sweeeeet




4 thoughts on “The Longest Countdown Ever

  1. First, thank you for ditching the horrible reverse type and the black background. Progress.

    Second, I have some questions to add to your list. Don’t feel like you have to answer them all at once. But I’d appreciate it if you could get to these at some point:

    Do they have a bar there?

    What’s the company policy on intra-office Quidditch?

    You know how Eskimos have 700 words for different types of snow? Do people on this base similarly have 700 words for onanism?

    Do they have Netflix?

    If you’re an Amazon Prime member, can you still get free two-day shipping?

    Have you seen the movie “The Thing”? Not the 2011 version. The one from 1982.

    Will you be working on Ross Island (McMurdo Station), at the South Pole (Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station), or at Anvers Island (Palmer Station)?


    1. I couldn’t bear the thought of you whinging about the background for the next nine months. You nag like an old woman.
      Yes, there is a bar.
      I don’t think there is one.
      Any male by the age of 16 does, so I don’t think that’s particular to the ice.
      Shipments come about every 6 weeks, so Amazon would have to step up their game.
      I’m so glad you asked. Tradition has it that on the day the sun last sets for winter, we all gather and watch “The Thing” – from 1982, of course.
      If you cared to read the posts and not just complain about the background, you would know that I will be at McMurdo.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s