Week 47 at the Pole

Craig Knott, ASC/NSF

We weren’t kidding that there are a lot of training sessions for activities at the Pole. Last week saw some more training—fire fighters in search and rescue missions. Afterward, they all lined up for a group photo on the stairs outside the ICL. Inside, the sessions were serious business, although the exercises had an element of “pretend” to them since there were roles requiring folks to play disaster victims. The fire fighters can be seen with their masks covered to simulate the low visibility of smoky conditions.

Additional excitement last week came in the form of the first of three South Pole Traverses to arrive. SPOT 1, as the nine-vehicle traverse is named, delivered a load of fuel for the station. You can see one of its tractors (in the foreground of the second-to-last photo below) dragging large bladders behind it—each of those bladders contains about 3,000 gallons of fuel. The whole traverse brought about 100,000 gallons of fuel with it. At the end of the week, a different type of fuel was available to sustain the station crew. Thanksgiving is celebrated even at the South Pole.

Steven Best, ASC/NSF
Christian Krueger, IceCube/NSF
Christian Krueger, IceCube/NSF
Christian Krueger, IceCube/NSF