Traverse Caravan on Antarctic Continent
Here's a shot of the traverse caravan on it's way to South Pole. The primary purpose of the traverse is to get fuel to South Pole station. That is Mount Erebus in the background. Photo courtesy of Ryan Wallace.

Tomorrow we set sail back north. But tonight we were treated to a riveting talk by Ryan Wallace. You already know Ryan as the Marine Tech who was instrumental in launching our Fish Spy. Last year he did the Traverse. Every year there is a traverse across the continent from McMurdo station to South Pole stations. The primary reason is to get fuel to the remote South Pole station. They bring other supplies as well, if needed and possible. It’s a little over 1,000 miles each way and they only go about 7-10 mph. Calculate how long that takes. I’ll let you know tomorrow. Tomorrow because we are going to have a part 2 to this one! While I don’t have the room to put in all the fantastic pictures of the all the types of vehicles and all the aspects of this grueling trip, I will give you some highlights in the next couple days. By the way, two of our boat ramp heroes are traverse veterans. Bill McCormick and Mark Eisinger have both done the trip. Tomorrow we will take a closer look at the impressive vehicles that make this brutal trek.

Ryan Wallace next to a crevasse
Ryan is standing next to a crevasse that they discovered on the way. An important safety aspect of the traverse is to look for crevasses and snow bridges to map a safe route. Photo courtesy of Ryan Wallace.

Pisten Bully looking for crevasses
This vehicle is called a pisten bully and is equipped with ground penetrating radar to detect crevasses and unstable snow bridges. That piece that looks like an intertube in sensing below and that is fed to a computer and monitor in the cab. Photo courtesy of Ryan Wallace.

Monitor exhibiting images from ground penetrating radar
This is what the screen looks like inside. Ideally you want uniform straight horizontal lines. If you look closely you see two parabola that overlap. That reveals that there is a crevasse. If these two did not overlap but had an empty area between them, then you better stop! Crevasse! Photo courtesy of Ryan Wallace.

Ice crystals in a crevasse
Crevasses can be pretty scary and intimidating. They can also be incredibly beautiful. See for yourself. Photo courtesy of Ryan Wallace.

Crevasse on the way to South Pole
When a crevasse is discovered they have equipment and cameras they can lower in there and in some cases one of the crew will descend in there to determine the depth of the crevasse. Photo courtesy of Ryan Wallace.

Dynamited crevasse in Antarctica
If the crevasse is too big to fill in with the plows they have, the crevasses is blown up to shatter the snow bridge. Then the crew will plow in the hole to firm up the snow to safely proceed. Photo courtesy of Ryan Wallace.

Vehicle pulling fuel in traverse to South Pole
Ready to go to Pole. Each of these vehicles eight bags of fuel. Each bag contains 3,000 gallons. Impressive!

Author
Date
Location
Palmer Station
Weather Summary
Beautiful, Sunny
Temperature
32
Wind Speed
6

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