Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Waiting in McMurdo, Antarctica

The view of the Royal Society Range across from McMurdo Sound 

Again I find myself sitting in the lovely confines of McMurdo Station, eager to set out to a new and exciting field camp.  We were originally scheduled to fly to the beautiful and awe inspiring "Union Glacier" site tomorrow...but the flight was canceled due to weather.  The forecast has the system hovering for a couple of days, which means I get to patiently sit here and wait for my chance to go where very few do. 

The Union Glacier camp is actually a privately owned Antarctic Camp that very few who are associated with NSF projects, get to go to.  Normally, the people that come through Union Glacier are the very rich folks that are wanting (and paying heavily) to summit Vinson Massif in a quest to do the seven summits.  It is a beautiful camp, with the best food/chef in Antarctica.  I've seen pictures from previous deployments there, and the landscape is indescribable.  To give you an example, a photo that a fellow Penn Stater took last year at the Union camp won the Wired.com photo contest

Union Glacier Wind Scoop (Where I'll be)

I've been out running a lot in town.  Believe it or not, there are actually some good trails here, despite them all being very rocky (all volcanic).    All of our prep work for the deployment is already done, so we are just in standby mode.  Hopefully, we get out soon.  I am anxious to see some of the sights, get my hands dirty, and install some polenet stations.  I plan on taking hundreds of pics, and marking lots of GPS waypoints to track where I go.

In the mean time, here are some pics from the trip so far:

Sea ice seen from C-17 (woo...say that 5 times fast)

Helicopter...inside a plane.  Cool

Observation Hill...seen from the ice runway.

Getting loaded into Ivan the Terra-Bus

Coming in to town

Hobbs Glacier (Across McMurdo Sound)

The "Pimple" across McMurdo Sound

The view just before running up Observation Hill

Almost there...

Another wide-angle of the Royal Society Range

Even in Antarctica, we drive electric cars.  If only we could get people 
to drive these back home instead of their 12 mpg Dodge Durangos.


Derrick said...

Wow...incredible photos. Hope all the waiting isn't too painful. Being able to get some runs in I'm sure helps.

Katie said...

Great photos! I look forward to following your blog. Any races close by? :)