Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station

Welcome to Pole
Pole in January 15
Here is a January 2015 photo by Peter Rejcek...I like it because it illustrates that the geographic
Pole is moving away from the station (well, actually it's vice versa). The full size photo is in the
Antarctic Photo Library. Are those snowdrifts getting deeper? From what I've seen, the snowdrifts
are now much deeper than I remember. This page includes a series of comparison photos I took in
2005 and 2008 of the drifting around the elevated station.

dome deconstruction photo index...the first 2018-19 aerial photo!
sorry but this is NOT an official Pole website :((   (more info)

South Pole News...

14 May...lots of bad news...budget cuts, science and other project cancellations, delay in the search for the next support contractor...but there's a new South Pole master plan out well as my updated 2024 winterover statistics! News!

It's winter at Pole...folks at McMurdo got to stay around an extra month, and the preliminary contract rebid proposal promised by the end of March...has not emerged yet.

Winter has begun at Pole with 42 folks stuck there far from the rest of civilization! Otherwise, I'm a bit behind on updates (blame music festivals and pneumonia).

21 January...a new Pole marker...and the cargo vessel has arrived!

14 January...a look at the last (?) ice pier which awaits the cargo vessel arrival within a week...and other nongovernmental venture updates!

12 January, a few quick shipping updates....

Happy New's 3 January already! Lots of news, including visitors, traverses, and vessels approaching McMurdo.'s 17 December, almost the middle of summer! And lots has been happening at Pole!

31 October! Happy Halloween! Pole is open...the first Basler has passed through leaving freshies and returned bringing new folks!

14 October...the first main body flight has landed at McMurdo (only to stay around a couple of days), and the NSF science budget cuts have led to terminations of ASC employees.

2 October...the government shutdown is off for now, and there's more news out there about the NSF "morale initiatives" ending per-drink alcohol sales at McMurdo.

The last day of September...the first main body flight to McM could happen as early as 8 October, and the sun is up at Pole. Other news includes the pending government shutdown, the (lack of an) RFQ for the next support contract, and cancellation of a significant percentage of Antarctic research.

12 September. The sky is getting light, so of course the midwinter dinner is coming up on 23 September! Otherwise...some communications satellites are coming and have gone away, and NSF has sponsored a project to create a South Pole master plan for the next umpteen years!

22 August...the sun has been sighted at McMurdo...but no WINFLY aircraft have been sighted!

10 August...the sky has started to lighten at Pole. But the big news is coming from NSF and the Washington DC more liquor sales at McMurdo bars, COVID and other impacts on the upcoming science, bidding processes for a new helo contract, scaffold for the Pole met tower, a permanent pier barge for McMurdo, not to mention the upcoming USAP support contract rebid.

11 July, sorry, it's been awhile. But stuff has been happening. Including an amazing midwinter dinner at announcement that winterover Polie Christina Hammock Koch will be headed AROUND THE MOON...and some sad commentary about one of the casualties of the submersible Titan implosion...who'd been seriously involved with Antarctic tourism and had visited Pole several times including with Buzz Aldrin.

25 March! Sunset is happening at Pole, Polar Star visited Palmer Station, and the program is considering purchase of a 200+ foot long barge to serve as a floating pier for McMurdo.

13 March...early winter updates--things are going well so far...and I've got a report on the SPIDER Long Duration Balloon project which involved recovery activity out of Pole, as well as an updated obituary for Johan Booth who died in June 2022.

19 February shipping offload update...a second cruise ship stopped by McM for a second time, this time to discharge a medevac passenger who was flown to Christchurch.

The station closed on 15 February leaving 43 winterovers. The third traverse (SPoT3), which did not show up until the 12th, also left that day. Meanwhile I've been documenting the shipping season. The third cargo vessel Ocean Gladiator arrived today. That's the sixth vessel to show up (including a cruise ship!

4 February...the season at Pole is winding down, but that means that the ship evolutions at McMurdo are just getting underway. 3 cargo vessels...and another season using that pontoon causeway. And there's more shipping news regarding the Laurence M. Gould as well as the Australian program's new but broken icebreaker. update on the finally completed Pole marker!

Happy New Year! Yes, the new Pole marker was unveiled, the marathon was run, some of those nongovernmental folks have been arriving by land, there's lots of McM shipping news...

21 November--NSF COVID have resumed between ChCh and McMurdo, and there was one of those Air Force airdrop tests!

15 November...another NSF COVID update...the first South Pole Traverse has departed McM, and at least one LC-130 with passengers has arrived at Pole!

6 November. A significant COVID-19 outbreak in McMurdo causes major program disruptions.

4 November have gone into Pole...some of the winterovers have left, and among other things there was a historic phone call from the North Pole!

11 be continued as I've been busy, but I must share obituaries of two great Antarctic friends==-Johan Booth and Billy-Ace Penguin Baker.

16 June...I have been busy but so have the Polies...dealing with images from outer space (the recent lunar eclipse and the black hole at the center of our galaxy), satellite communication or lack thereof, planning for winter fun and games...including unicycle riding. I've also updated my information on nongovernmental Antarctic ventures as well as the Antarctic jobs page.

22 March...The most significant Antarctic news in years has to be the discovery of Shackleton's sunken ship Endurance! Otherwise, it's winter at Pole, it's been unseasonably warm at Vostok, and internet connectivity has recently improved at McMurdo!

Pole closed for the 2022 winter leaving 44 people behind, which means there are new South Pole Winterover Statistics! Other news including the Pole marker unveiling...3 supply vessels at McMurdo as well as the Polar Star.

27 December...lots of stuff happening in the last month! The nearly total solar eclipse at of the new satellite earth station at McMurdo...the first LC-130 landing since 2019-20...trekkers, skiers and motorcyclists heading to Pole.

26 November...summer at Pole is fully underway, although none of the NYANG LC-130s have made it south from Christchurch to McMurdo yet. And a bunch of nongovernmental ventures are heading to Pole after last year's coronavirus cancellations.

4 November 2021...I've been remiss about updating things for various reasons...but Pole is open...some winterovers are already back in the States, the 2021 season at Palmer is now well underway! And...more flights to Pole...coronavirus vaccines...and my coverage of the nongovernmental Antarctic ventures (yes, there are some this year)!

21 October! McMurdo main body is filling up that place, and Pole is getting ready for opening after welcoming the first Basler for refueling. And the summer support folks have landed at Palmer, ending the isolation of the 2021 winterovers.

3 October 2021...the sun is up at Pole, folks are before deploying, and the various support contractors are still hunting for folks to hire. But the big news of the day is that this past winter at Pole has been the coldest recorded ever...or at least since Paul Siple's 1957 winter when things started to get recorded. Meanwhile, the station opening tasks are well underway.

Want an Antarctic job? On this page I've provided everything you need to know about (or at least where to find) how to get a job...updated frequently...and of course after the contract change to Leidos.

The dome is gone. And the most comprehensive web collection of dome deconstruction photos is here! And the message boards are still around...stop by the new home of Mike Poole's Antarctic Memories (archived link), which now includes the archives of Glenn Grant's Iceboard. If you have questions or problems with this excellent resource...the best place for info on jobs and life on the ice, ask me for help!

My second winter was in 2005 as the Title II Inspector (huh, what's that?)...and stayed on for a month after the 21 October station opening until the summer person showed up. I returned to the US on 21 January after 2 months in NZ/OZ. Hopefully before I left I wasn't too toasty to write a feature article for the 30 October 2005 Antarctic Sun..... Read it for yourself and decide...

More news updated 14 May.

What else is here:

updated 14 May 2024
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Visits since 24 May 1999: WEBCounter