Norwegian-US Scientific Traverse
Drilling, Differentials and the Pole of Inaccessibility
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Close to the abandoned US base at Plateau Station, waiting for replacement parts for their engines, the Traverse team drills a 90 meter deep ice core, along with surface studies of snow properties. Kjetil Bakkland, both medic and mechanic, installs a replacement transmission in one of the vehicles: "Keep the head and spirit up, and just go for it!" By December 22, they arrive at Plateau, and descend into the eerie, frozen station (minus 52 C), abandoned in 1969 and now covered by meters of snow. Glen Liston (CIRA, Colorado State) explains worries about poisonous gases, as he's the first to climb down into the darkness. Leaving Season's Greetings for any future visitors, the team moves on, celebrating Christmas with gifts and traditional Norwegian reindeer meats! Another gear box, number 7 breaks, but - to welcome 2008 - team leader Jan-Gunnar shaves his bushy beard and by New Year they reach the Pole of Inaccessibility - the place on the continent most distant from every coast. It was here that the Soviet Union set up their own base on the polar plateau. Poking above the snow is a surreal sight - a golden bust of Lenin, still facing towards Moscow. Popping champagne corks, the team looks forward to 2008, and finally reaching their goal, the geographic South Pole.
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POLAR-PALOOZA and the materials on this website are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0632262. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE/Geoff Haines-Stiles Productions, Inc., and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.