Our second full day at Union Glacier.  The weather was a tad better (less wind, clouds higher), but it still seemed like not perfect flying weather.  The pole, however, had clear skies so the decision was made to go.

  • Not an ideal flying day, but much better than the previous two days

We assembled waiting for the word to load the plane.

  • Assembling to go to plane
  • Walking to DC3
  • Skis on plane
  • Liftoff

The DC3 was not pressurized.  Due to the cold the apparent altitude of the pole can be as high as 13,000 feet (4000 meters).  While we visited a high pressure system kept the pole at only 11,000 feet.  But by flying we had to get higher.  At our high point we were at 3700 meters (12,100ft).  That is high enough to cause altitude problems. ANI was aware of this and assigned a doctor to monitor us during the entire trip.  Here the doctor is checking our O2 levels

  • ANI doctor Catrioma checking our O2 at 3700 meters

The single point that struck me most about the south pole was how remote it was.  Traveling over the ice cap was like traveling over the ocean.  Here approaching South Pole station shows how small the buildings were when compared to the vastness around them.

  • south pole station and dark site experiments while landing