Summer has ended at the South Pole Station, and now the main summer crew is transiting through McMurdo, off the ice. My final day on station was Feb 12th. On that day, I packed up my bags, got on an LC-130 Hercules, and flew from pole to mcmurdo. As much as I was excited to be leaving for warmer climates, overall I was sad to be leaving pole – my friends there, the way of life, the general feeling of being there is truly unique and amazing, and something to be missed.
The herc to take us away, on the skiway. I noticed that as the temperature dropped, the cloud of kicked up snow and ice behind the hercs grew. On the day I left, it was about -47C.
Departing the station for the last time.. this season..
About to board – they keep the engines on at pole, so the plane stays warm and doesnt freeze. Thus, to board, we must walk around the front of the plane and pass about 20 feet in front of the spinning props.
Goodbye pole! That’s the Golf Ball we’re passing on the skiway.
During the flight over the continent, I had the opportunity to sit in the cockpit for a bit. The view is absolutely incredible, unmatched.
Landing in McMurdo on the Pegasus Ice Runway
The first view stepping off at McMurdo: Mt. Erebus looming in the distance.
Pegasus is about an hour’s drive across the sea ice from McMurdo. To get over to McMurdo, everybody is piled on the the venerable Ivan the Terrabus.
And then, we are in McMurdo!
Images on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamfan2/albums/72157632822597095