Daily Archives: October 27, 2012

Snow Machines

Part of being in Antarctica is training and lots of it.  Luckily most of it is a lot of fun.  This was one of many surreal experiences that Ive had here so far.  Sitting on a snowmobile on the sea ice in watching a C 17 land and helos (helicopters) take off and land from Mactown with epic mountains in the background.

 

Mactown has a fleet of Ski Doo Skandia sleds.  Most are 550 fans with super wide tracks for towing traction.

 

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The Job Site

McMurdo Station is not actually on the Antarctic Continent but at the tip of Hut Point, Ross Island.  Our drill camp is located  on the sea ice Southwest of Mcmurdo on the road to the ice runways.  The specific location that we are at is called SPOTSA (South Pole Traverse Staging Area).  We will be building there for the next couple months until we move camp to Windless Bight for testing and eventually traversing to Lake Willan later in the season.

Here is a view from the edge of drill camp looking back towards McMurdo.  The ice road is out of sight to the left of the view.

Here is another shot of drill camp toward Ross Island.  The building with blue sides is our mechanical building, aka the MEC.  Inside we have some workspace, an arc welder, mini lathe and a milling machine.  I cant imagine a better place to machine parts than this.  This is the best office I’ve ever had.

Looking Southwest to the ice runway from drill camp.  There is a C 17 in the background that landed on a routine cargo run.

On a clear day the mountains are visible across the sound.