The time has come, at last, to hit the continent. None of this island stuff. To Taylor Dome, I am headed, for about two weeks. (My scheduled return is the 18th of November.) The project: to find almost three thousand gallons of fuel, left there in 1996 and now under about eight feet of snow. My job: to dig them out once we find them - or, if we can't find them, to dig until we find them.
Taylor Dome is located on the polar plateau. It is about 100 miles north/northwest of McMurdo and is exposed to the elements. A team is there now, preparing the runway, and getting our structure set up so that we can go to work once we get there. The conditions at the Taylor Dome site (elevation 7,890 feet) from a few days ago:
Ambient Temp: -45 F
Wind Speed: 30 knots
Windchill: -100 F
Viz: 50 feet.
Altitude they are experiencing: 8700 Feet
So that is the plan. I got issued a down sleeping bag rated at -50. We plan to sleep in a structure because they say it is too cold to sleep in a tent. Six of us on this mission. One other GA. It is exciting, though Erik, the other GA, and I are a little dissapointed that we weren't the first ones in, but we'll have to make do. I'll report back when I return.
In other news, the dodgeball league started today. I am captain of the team. We are called the "Rockets." We went two and two. I had some pretty good catches and my arm was surprisingly dodge-ball-fit for being off the circuit since sixth grade. All the best!