University of Wisconsin-Madison

Week 49 at the Pole

NSF/B. Kuo Tiong
NSF/B. Kuo Tiong
NSF/B. Kuo Tiong
NSF/B. Kuo Tiong

Antarctica’s a cold continent, and all of the activities at the South Pole would not be possible without abundant sources of energy, which must be transported in. Since all supplies to the Pole come from McMurdo Station on the coast, the “South Pole Traverse” was developed as a viable option to reduce dependence on airlifts, which are routinely delayed due to inclement weather. The traverse is a compacted snow road extending almost 1000 miles from McMurdo to the South Pole. Here you can see the convoy (also referred to as the traverse) arriving with its wide loads. You might imagine its slow pace—it takes about 40 days to reach the Pole. The bottom photo clues you into the first image, the continent-shaped topper on a flagpole, not necessarily apparent from its close-up view.

NSF/B. Kuo Tiong
NSF/B. Kuo Tiong