Leaving the South Pole

Published: February 9th 2009
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Marshaling an LC-130Marshaling an LC-130Marshaling an LC-130

Me, directing an LC-130 where to land - South Pole Station, Antarctica
After nearly 3 and a half months living and working here at the South Pole, my flight back to Christchurch leaves in 3 days.

Believe it or not - I'm going to miss being here quite a bit. It was far better an experience than I'd anticipated and I've had a blast. Everyone working down here is great - and hopefully I'll be able to keep in touch with the friends I've made here for a long time. Indeed, if I have the opportunity to find employment for my wife down here, I'd be happy to winter next year.

I don't even think I can begin to list the "first time" experiences I've had here. They're nearly daily. Yesterday I marshaled one of the LC-130 Hercules aircraft in on landing. It was utterly exhilarating, standing there directly in front of such a giant aircraft as it taxis towards you, waiting for you to signal it to stop. The -40°F temperatures added to the surreal image, as the exhaust from the aircraft and vapor from the station sailed by in front of the sun.

In any event, it will good to see the sun set again, once I get
C-17 airdropC-17 airdropC-17 airdrop

Airdrop of supplies at South Pole Station, Antarctica
off the ice. It's bittersweet leaving this place, but I do intend to return if I can. If I can't, it's certainly been the best single, corporate experience of my life.

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


C-17 flybyC-17 flyby
C-17 flyby

High speed flyby of a C-17 Globemaster III.
LC-130 arrivalLC-130 arrival
LC-130 arrival

Arriving at the South Pole, disembarking the LC-130
LC-130 disembarkingLC-130 disembarking
LC-130 disembarking

LC-130 aircraft preparing to disembark passengers at the South Pole
C-17 passengersC-17 passengers
C-17 passengers

Riding as a passenger to McMurdo Station, Antarctica in a C-17 Globemaster III
LC-130 disembarking 2LC-130 disembarking 2
LC-130 disembarking 2

Exiting the LC-130 on landing. Again!
Pisten Bully and StationPisten Bully and Station
Pisten Bully and Station

A Pisten Bully snow machine and South Pole Station in the background.
South Pole Power PlantSouth Pole Power Plant
South Pole Power Plant

Exhaust from the South Pole Power Plant rises across the sun and ice.
Station Hallway Station Hallway
Station Hallway

View of hallway and stairwell inside the new South Pole Station.

View of the heavy equipment garages at the South Pole.

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