Week 4 at the Pole

Side view of Hercules plane on lift off at the South Pole, with the IceCube Lab building small in the background.
Amon Chokshi, SPT/NSF

Last week some of the remaining 2021 winterovers departed the South Pole—the plane taking them away is shown above as it lifted off, with the IceCube Lab (ICL) in the background. While it’s still summer at the Pole and the sun is shining on many days, there’s no getting away from the cold and snow—those prevail year-round. Last week IceCube winterovers had some “fun” shoveling out around the ICL. Despite the extremely low precipitation levels at the South Pole (it’s essentially a desert), there’s a lot of snow accumulation due to strong winds that blow across Antarctica. A bulldozer helped them out, but they still needed to do a fair amount of shoveling—tiring work that can leave one napping on the ice afterward.

The IceCube Lab with accumulated snow around its base on a clear day.
Nate Master, PAE/NSF
Low camera shot of two people lying down on the ice, one in sunglasses looking at the camera, the other with head down.
Wenceslas Marie-Sainte, IceCube/NSF