Sunday, February 11, 2007
Me at Pole
Here are the pictures of me at the South Pole. There are two "South Poles", the ceremonial one which fits most people's image of what the South Pole should look like, and the geographic South Pole, which is a plain scientific marker indicating the position of the South Pole. The geographic marker needs to be moved every year, because the South Pole station is built on top of miles of ice and that ice is continously in motion, like a gigantic glacier.
As you can see in the second picture, the ceremonial and geographic poles are quite close together this year. In the background, you can see the main station, where I'll be staying for the rest of my visit (another 7-10 days). I moved out of summer camp just in time; on my first 'night' in the station, the temperature dropped to -50F with -75F wind chill and has maintained that temperature ever since.
The third picture shows the old dome (you may need to click on it to see the larger version). The dome was built in 1975 and used to be the central location for all activities. It's now almost buried in snow and the pressure of all that snow on the outside walls is causing the dome to start to collapse. In the next couple of years, it will be disassembled, shipped north and reassembled in California.