The sun is getting lower and lower, and the folks at the South Pole station continue to get everything ready for winter. The winds were strong last week, on some days making it hard to distinguish ground from sky.
The sun is still out at the South Pole, but it’s getting low in the sky (they have one loooong sunset down there). And it’s cold as usual—a quick run around the block leaves one looking a little frosty.
Last week, with the IceCube detector behaving well, winterovers Benjamin and Kathrin had a bit more time for extracurriculars. They enjoyed a live webcast with a classroom in Italy and tried their hand at mastering the unicycle.
Tradition is strong at the South Pole, and last week was validation of that. After the final plane departed with the remaining summer personnel, the winterovering station crew all gathered in the gym for the traditional screening of all three versions of “The Thing.” They engage in this marathon viewing each year.
Time flies, even at the South Pole. The winterover staff are getting ready for the pending station close—here IceCube winterover Kathrin is parking one of the last Hercs to have landed for awhile.
Flight delays are not uncommon at the South Pole, which can be frustrating. But sometimes there’s an upside, as there was for a recent cohort of IceCube personnel waiting to leave the Pole. They were rewarded for their delay with a flight out on a Basler aircraft (much smaller than the Herc they were waiting on), which gave them fantastic views on the way to McMurdo Station.
There were different groups of South Pole visitors last week—some human, and some not. The nonhuman visitor came from Japan—IceCube-san, seen here on the snow outside the IceCube Lab. The other visitors were adventure travelers, who were based at a campsite not far from the station.
Last week at the Pole started in 2018 but ended in 2019. What better way to launch into the new year than by unveiling something shiny and bright? That’s the tradition at the South Pole, with a special ceremony held each January 1 to reset the marker at the geographic South Pole.
There are so many different ways to celebrate the holidays around the world, but there’s only one special event that actually takes you around the world. It’s the occasion of the annual “Race Around the World” at the South Pole—a fun run that circles around the South Pole, traversing all of the world’s time zones.