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Journey to Our Field Camp

OFFSHORE NEW HARBOR CAMP, ANTARCTICA– This video captures the energy and excitement of our traverse across the sea ice to the Offshore New Harbor Field Camp.

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5 Responses »

  1. Howie,
    We like your cool music! Riding in the piston bully looks like fun. So does riding on the snow mobile. We wish we were there! Do you ride the piston bully on ice? And if so, how does it keep from falling through?
    Mrs. Hutchins’s 6th grade

  2. Howie –

    Rock and roll! I loved the video, especially the shot of the two snow mobiles pulling into your still frame. Nicely done! I wondered if the audio of the radio call in was straight from the camera mic or if you used something else. Sounded excellent w/no wind noise.


  3. Mrs. Hutchins 6th Grade Class….

    You guys are AWESOME with all of your good questions!

    The Pisten Bully is the machine we use to pull the drill rig between hole locations. So yes, we do ride it on the sea ice. Most of the sea ice that we’re on out here is 6 meters (19.7 feet) thick, or more. This is called multi-year ice because it hasn’t been broken out from McMurdo Sound during the austral summer in many years, it has remained in place and has gotten thicker. Some of it is only around 2 meters (~6.5 feet) thick. The thinner ice is first-year ice that just froze in place during last austral winter.

    The long and short of it: the ice is thick enough for us to work and live on. The people in charge of field camp operations would not let us out here if there was a safety issue.

    Keep the questions coming!

    All the best,


  4. Thanks again for getting back to us. It is hard for us in Florida to imagine ice so thick you can drive a huge machine on it safely! Amanda had a question for you about ice caves…

    Hi Mr. Koss
    I was wondering if anyone from your research expedition has ever gotten trapped in one of those caves? If anyone has gotten trapped down there how did hey get out? Has anyone died in one of those caves? Have you ever had to leave someone trapped in a cave? If you try to save them you will put yourself in danger. Please answer these questions for I am very curious.

  5. Hello Amanda from Mrs. Hutchins’s class,

    Thanks for your questions. I have not heard of anyone getting trapped or dying in the ice cave near McMurdo Station. If something so tragic were to happen though, a rescue mission would certainly be initiated. There are many people at the station who are trained to deal with all sorts of accidents that can happen in these harsh conditions. But yes, they would potentially put themselves in harms way to help rescue someone else in need.

    Happy Thanksgiving!