SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: Now, we begin the long ride home, screaming over the raw sastrugi of the Antarctic windswept terrain.
SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: Twenty kilometers out, stake number 40, we take the last measurement and sign the flag.
SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: It turns out my snowmobile is the fastest with Randi close behind and Kris in the rear... partially due to the fact he's pulling a sled with our survival gear incase we get stuck out here for some reason. At this point, we've lost sight of the station.
SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: Top of the hour again and Kris calls in under sunny skies that all is well.
SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: The stakes are set half a kilometer apart, and between each of those is a marker flag to keep the line in sight.
SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: Randi enjoys some cider while Kris adds another extension onto a short stake.
SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: A little Antarctic snack while out measuring snow stakes.
SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: Randi reads off the angle measurement and Kris records both the short and long length of the pole if an extension was added. Otherwise we just record how long the pole is and compare that to last year's measurement.
SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: Some areas get more snowdrift than others, and at roughly 20cm of drift a year, that buries a 1m pole in just a few years. Kris just joins and superglues another meter onto the short pole.
SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: Randi measures the angle while Kris gets ready to add an extention to the pole.
SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: The "snow stakes" are just PVC pipe that was planted vertically when the project started in 1990. Since then, the drifting snow has pushed the stake over somewhat while burying it in the drift snow. A red and green flagged bamboo helps us find a white stake in a white landscape.
SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: We're not far from the station, but the top of the hour has come around and Kris calls in on the satellite phone to check that the phone works and to check in with the station. Randi kicks it back on her sled...watch out for the kill switch!
SOUTH POLE STATION, ANTARCTICA: Snowmobiles: check. Gas: check. Antarctic Survival Kit: check. Satellite phone: check. Snowdrift measuring tools: check. Let's Ride!
WHITE MOUNTAINS, ALASKA. Into the sun, along the trail.