SOUTH POLE, ANTARCTICA: Once we get our housing assignments, Noah and I make the trek out to "summer camp" to find out bunks in these domed huts called Jamesways.
SOUTH POLE, ANTARCTICA: The engines keep running to keep everything warm as we're just on the cusp of the hydraulics freezing and preventing the plane from getting back to McMurdo.
SOUTH POLE, ANTARCTICA: The rear cargo doors open up and they let the cargo slide right out the back while we're still moving along the taxiway.
SOUTH POLE, ANTARCICA: The weather warms just enough and we're given permission to land. Here we are on final approach, the skiway is the long white line rectangle to the left of the station.
SOUTH POLE, ANTARCTICA: It's such a tease. That's where we want to go, but it's too cold to land. You can just make out the skiway running across the frame right along the length of the station complex.
SOUTH POLE, ANTARCTICA: The shadow of our contrail on the vast flat Antarctic plateau as we hook around while holding in the pattern hoping the temperature will warm up so we can land at the South Pole.
ANTARCTICA: A river of ice creaps down from the upper plateau and merges with another flow.
ANTARCTICA: The last of the the Trans-Antarctic Mountains as we approach the Antarctic plateau in the center of the continent. Can you tell what that dark line is going across the image?
ANTARCTICA: The seating in the LC-130 is a little different from the C-17... we're in four rows facing each other. The red webbing is the backs of the benches and we face each other with interlocked knees. The door we came in is on the far left, and that's also the access to the flight deck.
ANTARCTICA: Can't get enough of these white beauties!
ANTARCTICA: Of course the pilot can't do with out some tunes from his iPod that is piped into his radio headset.
ANTARCTICA: A view from the flight deck looking back... yup, the engine is still running. That's good.
ANTARCTICA: Checking in with nav. Looks like we're going the right way... South!
ANTARCTICA: Right out of McMurdo, we fly along part of the Trans-Antarctic Mountains.
MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA: All Aboard!
MCMURDO STATION: ANTARCTICA, Another trip in Ivan the Terrabus takes us back out to the skiway and we trade our large C-17 for a prop driven LC-130 for our 3 hour flight to the pole.
MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA: Look at that! It's 10pm and the sun is still up. Time for bed to be ready for a 7am flight tomorrow morning.
MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA: Along the coast, pressure ridges form as the ice is pushed into the land.
MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA: Looking back at McMurdo station from Hut Point, with the hut of its namesake built by Scott in the early 1900's as a base for British Antarctic expeditions.
MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA: The skiway is only active in the spring while the ice on McMurdo Sound is thick enough to support the weight of the aircraft and support equipment. In the summer they'll move to another air strip.
MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA: A little after dinner walk to Hut Point looking over the white expanse of the frozen McMurdo Sound.
MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA: All packed in Ivan like sardines on our ride from the plane to the station.
MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA: Getting off the plane with a plume of steam coming out of the still active 3794m Mount Erebus.