Monday, January 21, 2008

The bad comes with the good

I think the two of the most preferred weather types down here are cold, blizzardy and warm, sunny. We like the cold and blizzardy days because Antarctica is supposed to be a harsh, cold continent. When it snows, it also covers up all the dirt and dust of the base and makes this place look less like a mining camp. I don't think why we like warm and sunny needs much of an explanation.

When we get these two weather patterns back to back, we have an extra danger to watch out for across base - washouts, mudslides, etc. The snow is great, but when the sun heats things up for 24 hours a day we can get some pretty serious snow melt around base. Normally, this just results in small streams beside the roads. When this first started happening, you could see people stopping and staring at the water because it was the first free moving water they had seen in months outside of a shower drain or checking out the mythical Coriolis effect in a toilet.

Serious snow melt.

Around December 14th, a pool that had been forming at one of the higher elevations on base broke open allowing a ton of water to pour out in addition to what was already coming down the roads. This almost caused us to lose our lower road down to the Ice Pier. The Ice Pier is the brown rectangle in the bottom left corner of the picture and is probably the world's biggest (man-made) ice cube. It is big enough for fuel tankers to tie up to.

The lower ice road down its best to wash out.
On a more personal note, the mental and physical anguish of the marathon are coming to a close. I'm finally walking close to normal. My IT band still hurts to run on, but a long sauna session and some yoga set the rest of my muscles straight. I'll be going for a short bike ride and long stretch to get the last couple kinks out later today. I'll probably only be riding on the road, but I'm so excited to be riding a bike again. I have one rented out for the entire week!


  1. It all just looks so amazing. And congrats on letting yourself heal and recover from an awesome marathon experience!

  2. That's a crazy mudslide!

    Amazing how things such as water flowing the opposite way in a toilet bowl catches people off-guard. :)

  3. wow, that is a great pic of the mudslide! i hope you are all safe!

    glad you are taking some time to recover from the mararthon!