Latitude: 90 degrees South
Longitude: 0 degrees East
Wind speed: 10 knots
Wind direction: Grid 104
Elevation: Not Given
Kilometers traveled: 0
Notes on daily life:
By Dan reports from Amundsen Scott South Pole Station:
Today is Thanksgiving at South Pole but all around station work is proceeding like normal. The folks here will not celebrate until Saturday; Thanksgiving holiday will afford them a rare two-day weekend.
The LGT crew has been working very hard over the last weeks trying to get the traverse trains ready for action. Today, all our efforts came to fruition; the sleds are hitched-up and ready for a test drive. Lynn, Matt, John, and James took the heaviest train (the one carrying all the fuel) and tried towing it with the weakest tractor (the one with the blade). On the hard surface of the well-groomed aircraft skiway the little CAT did not have any problems pulling the heavy load. However, on the un-groomed surface at the end of the skiway the tractor became immediately bogged-down and stuck. This brought back memories of last years traverse when the snow was deep and sugary and both trains were bogged-down on a regular basis. After digging-out and freeing the bladed CAT the lads hitched the stronger tractor (the one with wide axles and forks) to the heavy train. This time they were successful; the forked CAT didn't seem to have any trouble with the heavy load. The test of the bladed CAT pulling the lighter train was also a success, so we are now ready to roll.
This evening, at the request of Paul Sullivan (South Pole science support manager), Tom and I gave a lecture to the folks of South Pole station. I presented the first half of the lecture on the history of ITASE and some of the recent scientific results from West Antarctica. Tom presented the second half of the lecture on uses of water isotopes and the future goals of the LGT. The crowd seemed to enjoy the whole lecture, as there were many questions posed afterwards.