Antarctica, Oct-Nov 2004

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The south island of New Zealand near Christchurch. Christchurch is the gateway to McMurdo and South Pole. Other parts of Antarctica are accessed through South America or South Africa.
The International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch. The Clothing Distribution Center (CDC) of the U.S. Antarctic Program, where we get our gear, is in the back, through the archway.
A display of the extreme cold weather (ECW) gear that everyone gets at the CDC.
The changing room at CDC where we make sure everything fits before going to Antarctica.
A C-130 aircraft outside of the U.S. Antarctic Program hangar in Christchurch.
Getting ready to board the U.S. Air Force C-141 in Christchurch, headed for McMurdo. Everyone is required to wear much of their ECW gear during the 5+ hour flight.
The cargo gets a more comfortable ride to McMurdo than the passengers! 5 hours is a long time to sit like this. You can get up a move around a little, but you have to climb over everybody first.
The C-141 after landing on the sea ice runway about a mile from McMurdo. We took a bus (of sorts) from here. The sea ice runway is used until about December, after which it melts. At that point airplanes use one of the two runways on the ice shelf.
Two LC-130s on skis about to leave McMurdo.
Twin Otter airplanes, with skis, on the sea ice runway. These and helicopters are used to take people into the field.
Mt. Erebus, which is on the same island as McMurdo (Ross Island), smoking. This view is from the sea ice runway. Erebus is about 12,400 ft tall.
The sea ice airfield (where we landed) and the mountain backdrop.
The sea ice runway area as seen from Ob Hill. Note the road going out to the airplanes and runway.
The tip of the Hut Point Peninsula of Ross Island from the air. McMurdo Station is on the west side of the point; Scott Base (NZ) is on the east. Sea ice fills McMurdo Sound and extends around the point to Scott Base. The McMurdo Ice Shelf is on the west and south sides of Ross Island. It meets the Ross Ice Shelf further to the east. (Photographer and date unknown)
McMurdo, the New York City of Antarctica.
The dormitory area.
Part of the dining hall.
Old buildings housing the two exercise facilities (first and third) and the "Coffee House", a coffee and wine bar. The Chapel of the Snows is in the background.
McMurdo General Hospital, which is really a small clinic.
Observation Hill ("Ob Hill") on the edge of McMurdo.
Snow school: Everybody who plans to be work in the field away from McMurdo, even if only for day trips, must take "snow school". This is a two-day survival school where one learns how to survive for a few days with the survival "kits" that everybody must have when working in the field. In this picture we were preparing to head out and build snow shelters. The instructors (Matt and Allen) are in blue.
The snow school students heading out to make camp on the McMurdo Ice Shelf.
Snow school camp. We made various types of snow shelters and set up Scott tents (yellow) and a few mountain tents. Some people slept in a tent; others slept in snow shelters (trenches, mounds, or igloos). I slept in a snow mound. Mt. Erebus is barely visible in the background.
Scott Base (green buildings in center) as seen from the snow school location. Scott Base belongs to New Zealand. It's just around the corner from McMurdo on Ross Island. Mt. Discovery is in the background.