Downhill Trending


Pole overhead

This overhead shot was taken a few seasons ago from a twin otter, but it still gives you an idea of how large the entire campus is. ARO is not in the shot nor is the ‘end of the world’ where the winter emergency fuel stash is kept. At the very right top you can see the Dark Sector labs, which is a really fun walk in the darkness of the winter here everyday during rounds! Numerous of the pictured buildings are now gone and the Cryo building has been reconfigured. This coming summer season, a specially built snow blower is expected to start the massive task of clearing off the tops of the support aches, which can be reached from the elevated station via the vertical tower. The estimated drifting on top is around 24 feet. Also next summer, new escape rises will be dug out for the ice tunnels, as well as raising the stairs inside the vertical tower 12 inches to help accommodate the settling of the elevated station.

15 Pano-0001


While the last month has seen some extremely bright skies due to a full moon and many overcast days, Hunter was still able to piece together 15 individual shots to create this amazing picture of our sky and the Milky Way. It is truly amazing what you can see on a daily basis here, but being able to capture it with a camera makes it even better!


Courtesy Dr. Martin Wolf, ICL

Even with a bright full moon, Martin was still able to capture an aurora above! It was so bright for nearly a week that when walking outside, you actually cast a shadow and could move about without our customary red head lights! As with everywhere else in the world, clear skies means colder temps, and there was no shortage of that, as we hovered around -90F the whole time!

Courtesy Bill Johnson

This is a series of pictures of a repair that we had to complete in the mechanical room above the VMF (Vehicle maintenance facility). The band close to the flange was a stopgap, installed until we could get the new section of 4″ copper in. The flange joint had begun to leak, likely from the glycol eating away at it. This took the better part of the day to finish, but it is now back up and running, giving our VMF crew heat again!


Courtesy Dr. Martin Wolf, ICL

The observation deck, as an aurora storm rolls through.


Courtesy Dr. Martin Wolf, ICL


Courtesy Dr. Martin Wolf, ICL


Courtesy Dr. Martin Wolf, ICL

Imagine if you will, the moon is not out. This is a picture looking from the skiway at the rear of B pod, where the emergency power plant is located. The lowest light is the emergency fueling pod, the next being the emergency exit stairs for the residents of the pod. The EPP is tested monthly, and also run with a load before winter to ensure it can sustain us if the need arises.

Not very long ago, SPT (South Pole Telescope) was part of a global effort to take a picture of the edge of a black hole, the EHT (Event Horizon Telescope) project. Follow the below links to learn more. This will do you more good then me trying to cover everything!

Many thanks to Dr. Daniel Michalik for sending me these outstanding links! It may take well over a year to compile and analyze all of the data collected, so keep an eye out for it!

As eluded to in the title, I have surpassed my half-way point here at the South Pole. As of this post, I have 162 days remaining, that is of course I leave by November 4th. I consider this a ‘soft’ date, because you just never know with the weather or the flights the exact date you get to start your vacation and trip back home.  As we approach Mid Winter, an Antarctica tradition, our 46 person crew here seems to be steaming along quite well. Everyone is getting along, being good community members, and our work has been fairly smooth so far, but you never know what tomorrow will bring!




About stoli70onice, and twitter is stoli70onice!!!
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3 Responses to Downhill Trending

  1. Mark says:

    Awesome shots…. nice patch, but they never last…. we just had on go on 4th floor, What fun that was….


  2. Dempsey West says:

    Thanks for sharing. Here is a picture for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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