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Interview with the Outgoing South Pole Winter-over

SOUTH POLE, ANTARCTICA– Well, after numerous weather delays, I arrived at the South Pole on October 27th. Initially I was suppose to be flying in on a DC-3 Basler but as you quickly learn here plans change on a dime, and ended up flying in on a Hercules LC-130. There were 40 of us on the plane and the weather forecast for us actually being able to land was looking grim. However, to our surprise (and relief), we did land.

The previous winter-overs running the Atmospheric Research Observatory, LTJG Marc Weekley and engineer Patrick Cullis (aka Cully), were there to greet me at the ski-way, and help me with my bags. Winter-overs are people who stay on station for the 8-9 long months in which there are no flights into or out of the Pole. Temperatures are just too cold during this period for flights. Many winter-overs like Marc and Cully spend the S. Hemispheric summer months here as well making it a full year. After a few days of turnover with Marc and Cully (who were extremely patient and helpful for having just spent a winter in isolation), I was able to catch up with Marc for an interview on his thoughts, feelings and advice on spending a year at the South Pole.

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Photos courtesy of:

Patrick Cullis, all aurora shots
Brian Vasel, the tower with low sun
Emrys Hall, view of ARO from tower
ME, the plain looking shot of the tower

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8 Responses »

  1. Awesome guys! Bon voyage to both of you; you both got some big new adventures ahead!!

    ~ ~ Lisa

  2. Hi Nick Great video and interview. Thank you Mark for sharing your story of your stay with Nick and the world!! Looking foward to more info Nick Love Mom

  3. Loved the video.

  4. Hi Nick,
    Nice video, Nick. I’m jealous of all you guys who got to leave Denver for the Pole right after training, while I had to come back home – but I’ll see you in February. Say hello to JT3, Sheri, Enrico, and Ethan for me.
    James (Chuck)

  5. Nick,

    I enjoy reading and watching your video. I thought that the winters were cold here in Wisconsin, but I am starting to believe that I am living in a tropical paradise.


  6. Hey Uncle Tim good to hear from you!

    Yeah it is pretty cold down here but you get use to it and we have plenty of warm clothing to withstand it. It actually got up to -12F the other day. A record! Although soon after it dropped to -30F with 25 knot winds.

  7. Hey Nick!

    Nice video interview! I look forward to hearing more stories from the pole. Take care and stay warm! BTW the Packers beat the Cowboys but I am sure you knew that already.

  8. Hey Nick,

    Cool postings. I like the interview. I gotta find a way to get down to Southpole. I don’t think I want to winter over, but I’d sure like to see it.