How we got there

Mountain Shadows in Scottsdale

Nowadays the Pole winterovers went to an "outward bound" type "ropes course" which involved lots of bonding and teamwork and also incorporates the psych exam. Nowadays they have a couple weeks of serious firefighting and medical training that is just a bit more extensive than the 1-hour lecture we all had in the McMurdo firehouse.the Antarctic conference For those of us who were on board in the northern hemisphere summer of 1976, we went to the NSF planning conference at the Mountain Shadows Resort in Scottsdale, AZ. This event was and is still held for the scientists, but in our day there weren't many civilians in the program so the w/o contractor types were invited. The event featured lectures (left) by Charles Neider and Larry Gould, as well as gory frostbite slides (yes, Bill Spindler actually had to leave the room). Another interesting event was a happy hour for the w/o's. The story was that folks would watch us to see how we could handle our liquor. Of course we w/o's (from all 4 stations) stuck together and had that figured out, and we had fun putting on a show.

Here's the list of attendees which I recently received from Gary Bennett, who'd wintered at Palmer in 1975 and was returning to the ice to work at the RIGGS field camp.
Jan Boyd and Dave Bresnahan
Jan Boyd, H&N admin type and one of the first contractor females to spend time at Pole (not our year) (left) is talking with Dave Bresnahan, then and now one of the NSF types involved in helping the contractor keep the scientists happy.

Bill Vincent and Del Harper having an alfresco breakfast


Hmm. Del Harper is on the right, along with Bill Vincent, one of our original cooks.


doctor Fritz Koerner
Our famous Doctor Fritz makes the scene.

some of us waiting for the flight to McMurdo


Some of my fellow travelers on my flight just before we left
Christchurch for McMurdo in October 1976. No other Pole
w/o's in this group, but there are a few familiar faces.

back to index | next