Embracing the snow

The ceremonial South Pole
The real South Pole

Like the snow we’ve had recently? What about really embracing the snowby spending winter in Antarctica? A friend of mine stayed at the South Pole last year. I’m not sure how much of Antarctica she saw, but she had a great time.

She was supposed to be there working in the medical clinic, but she didn’t seem to mind that her first job was washing all the bed linen from the summer visitors who just left, or that there was only enough water for a two showers a week.
She happily took on the regular duties of  checking the machinery that kept the place going and greasing the telescope in sub-zero temperatures using a paint brush.

She had a great time meeting scientists from all over the world and the experience was a pretty special and unique one. She sent back some fantastic photos. Did you know there are two South Poles? There’s the ceremonial one, nicely striped in red and white, and the true one, which marks the geographically correct place which has to be shifted each year.

Sadly it’s not an experience all of us can share. For one thing you have to fill out about 60 pages of psychological tests before they let you go and for another, there is only room for about 40 people. The closest we can come are  documentaries and films by those who have been there and books like South of Sixty : Life on an Antarctic Base, or even by looking at the photos in books like The Frozen World.

The recollections of Henry Sunderland’s adventures  in the seventies on our website are pretty interesting, and Steve Braunias has a more recent take in Smoking in Antarctica.

Who knows, reading about it might even make you feel that it is really quite warm outside.

2 thoughts on “Embracing the snow

  1. mj 28 July 2011 / 2:22 pm

    What an awesome experience it must have been – despite not actually ending up doing the work she thought she was heading off to do 😉

    And who else didn’t know that there are two South Poles … you learn something knew everyday!

    • berniceccl 28 July 2011 / 4:43 pm

      Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that she didn’t get to work in her field, – she did – but she shared a lot of the other tasks as well.

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