This one’s short!

Back in South Pole Topography, I wrote a bit about snow and snowdrifts.

You may remember the arches – structures that have become buried over time. We dug out a ramp in order to keep using them:

Outdoor Arches A view of the arches from outside, showing the gradual ramp we had to build so that we can still access them.

Here’s what the inside looked like over the summer! Neatly groomed, used every day:

Indoor Arches A view of one of the arches, from the inside, over the summer.

Winter has brought a combination of stronger winds and less staff to move snow. We also don’t use every part of the station every day – remember, winter has a significantly lower population, and most of our work is about maintenance, rather than the frantic 24x7 operations of the short summer.

After 4 days, including a gnarly winter storm, we opened the blast doors to the Logistics arch. This is what it looked like from the inside:

Arch Snowdrift View from inside the arch, after the doors were opened for the first time in 4 days.

A remarkable amount of blown snow buildup after just a few short days!

Here’s a human for scale – it’s me!

In order to use this door, our heavy equipment operator (HEO) had to move literal tons of snow!

Here’s a brief action shot as the snow wall came crashing down:

And that’s it! One brief example of the power of wind-blown snow, and the herculean task to keep the arches from getting totally buried.

Until next time!