Tuesday, January 5, 2010

South Pole

South Pole Station

I am at the South Pole. We, myself and about six other carpenters, are on our way to AGAP deep field camp to take it down. AGAP is the highest US camp and so we have to acclimatize for at least three days here before heading to AGAP.

The South Pole sits at about 10, 000 feet. AGAP sits higher at between 11 and 12,000 feet, but because of fluctuations in barometric pressure here, it can feel like 16,000 feet. Shortness of breath, headaches, tiredness and other symptons can affect you. Some people's bodies handle it better than others. I've had no problems since arriving at the Pole, but we'll see what happens at AGAP. Did I mention that it is a lot colder at AGAP? You have to usually cover every inch of your face one way or another.

Yesterday, we toured the ice tunnels where all the water pipes, waste pipes, etc. run under the snow. It is a constant 68 degrees below zero down there. That is cold. Today, we are going to tour IceCube in which they search for nuetrinos. Very small stuff those nuetrinos. We also get to go to the radar telescope where they search for dark matter. One of my friends calls it imaginary science.

South Pole Station, closer......


closer still......

closest! These are the carpenters putting up the last bits of siding to the station that was started in 2001.

Summer Camp where transients like us stay. It is about a quarter mile from the station. We sleep here, but eat our meals in the station. There is not enough room for everyone to stay in the station.

Nichole and Casey coming out of the jamesway at summer camp. Casey is the foreman for our group at AGAP.

The Dome is being dismantled. This was the second station at the South Pole. It was built in the early seventies. The first station is buried under the ice.

The dome is made of triangles of aluminum.

At this point, it looks like something came along and took a big bite out of it.

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