Week 23 at the Pole

A Scott tent pitched on the icy plateau.
Josh Veitch-Michaelis, IceCube/NSF

Relatively quiet from the previous week has changed to relatively busy for last week at the Pole.  To start with, the winterovers participated in not one but two outreach webcasts. But they also had their hands full with detector activity, having to deal with various computer crashes and other issues on top of regularly scheduled maintenance activities. Winterover Martin is shown below swapping out a storage controller card. The temperature at the Pole has reached -100 F, and when it gets this cold, they can’t operate the elevator and must haul food up to the station, assembly-line style, from carts full of boxes at the bottom of the stairs.

A busy week doesn’t mean there’s no time for reflection. Winterover Josh had the fortune to take the “Room with a View” tour when he was delayed at McMurdo Station just before departing for the Pole. It’s a popular tour that most people headed to the South Pole miss out on due to timing and other factors. Winterover Martin missed it, but Josh lucked out. The tour winds its way along a dedicated, flagged snowmobile route toward Mount Erebus. The “room” is a Scott tent pitched on the plateau (top image). Josh not only got to take this special tour but was rewarded with excellent weather for it as well.

Person crouched over computer rack.
Josh Veitch-Michaelis, IceCube/NSF
Person standing next to flatbed piled with boxes.
Josh Veitch-Michaelis, IceCube/NSF
Person standing next to sign
Josh Veitch-Michaelis, IceCube/NSF
Snowmobiles pointed toward Mount Erebus.
Josh Veitch-Michaelis, IceCube/NSF
View of Mount Erebus.
Josh Veitch-Michaelis, IceCube/NSF