There's a lot of snow in Antarctica. It comes from the sky, it blows around, it compacts, melts, and freezes. And inevitably, it ends up in places you don't want it to be. There is a huge amount of heavy equipment at McMurdo that has the sole job of moving snow to more convenient locations, but many things can't be plowed or cleared with a loader. And for those situations, we have the old faithful, ever-functional shovel.
My second week at McMurdo station is coming to a close, and I'm still not quite sure what my plan is. I know that I work fuels while I'm here, and that there's dozens of tons of equipment at Pole waiting for me to unbury and bring back to life. What I don't know is when I fly, what to expect, and many other details. I like my details.
I've been at McMurdo Station on Ross Island for a week now. At the moment, it looks like I'll be here another eight or ten days before I head off to Pole. I'm not just sitting here waiting, though. I'm getting some training in before I head down.
When I arrived here, people kept telling me that McMurdo is a beautiful place. But since it's more or less been storming non-stop, all I've been able to see is the mining town of a station, which is less than impressive. But when the clouds dispersed and the wind died, I understood. This place defies adjectives sometimes.