“Auto-lockers suck. They get all kinds of crap stuck in them, freeze shut. Just suck. But OSHA says we have to use them. And we do everything OSHA says…” Old Salty is imparting his years of wisdom on my mountain rescue candidate class. The sarcasm is dripping thicker than the glacial snow we’re standing on. … More Safety equipment is a pain
In 490 B.C., Phillipides ran from Marathon to Athens to inform the Greeks of their victory over the Persians. It would prove a turning point in Greco-Persian history. The ensuing 200 years would prove vital to the development of Western Civilization. In honor of Phillipides and his contribution, the first Olympic games in the late … More Very poor decision making
The ice I’m standing on is about 9000ft thick and is moving about 10 meters per year. The entire ice sheet is slowing moving towards the Weddell Sea, generally westward. As the ice sheet moves, it takes our home with it, and the marker identifying the Geographic South Pole. In order to compensate for this, … More New Year, new Pole
Zeus and Poseidon, Thor and Loki, Santa and his little sister. History is littered with familial disparity. One sibling gets all the glory and the other is the left over. Well, let me tell you what Santa is really like. Growing up it was all wedgies, wet willies and he even tried to buy “Go” … More Santa’s better half
After getting my college degree, multiple EMS certifications and finally, my post-grad license as a PA, I thought I had done all the schooling I needed to get some sweets jobs. As an undergraduate student, I drove between Texas and California with some regularity. Campus was outside of San Jose and home was Dallas. It … More Back to school?!?! Again?!?!?!
The air here is thick and temperatures are warm. People are in t-shirts. It’s a veritable tropical paradise. The temps were, allegedly, in the POSITIVE 20s. Roughly 50s degrees separates where I started the day and where I ended it. I am in the beach front escape known as McMurdo. And I’ll be here until … More #2 for the win!
There’s a saying on the ice that “you come for the adventure, but stay for the people.” While people initially come down for the challenge of living and working in Antarctica, it’s the community that tends to bring them back year after year. A certain personality type is drawn to the ice and those types … More Getting smaller….
To my back is a window that faces the rear of the station. On the other side of the window are the small huts and work stations that get shut down for winter. They are beginning to stir. Beyond those is the End of the World. The view is obscured by snow blown in from … More The Warm Escape
I’ve been told that people who go out there, in the summer, when they do go out there, which isn’t often, usually take a snow machine. We are on foot. “Man, I can’t believe how warm it feels!” It is -34F, -60F with wind chill. Fortunately, this wind isn’t blowing much, so it’s closer to … More Inhospitable
They call this the “flat white.” It’s flat as far as the eye can see. It’s white as far as the eye can see. The sun is glaring. Painfully so. Sun reflects off ice so it invades from every angle. Even looking out from the galley through a curtain causes spots in my vision when … More End of the World