Camping at Antarctica:Catching up the weather

Patrick Campbell is a PhD Student in the Atmospheric Science Department at the University of Wyoming, WY. Currently, he is studying the Condensation Nuclei (CN) Layer which forms in the mid-stratosphere over Antarctica and is at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica for data collection with other scientists. He will be assisting in the continued (since the 1980's) University of Wyoming measurements of stratospheric ozone, Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs), and aerosols. Here, he shares his experiences living in the most remote and difficult place on the earth.

Well, we survived our Snow Craft I Course (A.K.A. "Happy Camper"), but with no thanks to the weather. We had a blustery night, which dropped our situation to a Severe Weather Condition 2 at about 9:30 p.m., and then we woke up to a Severe Weather Condition 1 (worst case scenario). However, we still managed to work GREAT as a team and were able to finish taking down the whole camp the next morning with an extra 10 minutes to spare. Following this, the weather conditions were at their worst and we needed multiple attempts at meeting our pickup due to white out conditions, -15 degree temperatures, and > 50 knot wind gusts!

 he day and night consisted of outdoor survival training, setting up/down camp, building a snow wall and snow trenches, cooking dinner, melting snow for drinking water, and trying to somehow get some sleep! The good news was that I was able to keep quite warm in my mountain tent accommodations, of course by using the right methods and appropriate gear! I think I even got a couple hours of sleep, woo-hoo! Certainly, camping in Antarctica was a fruitful experience in surviving out in some of the most harsh conditions, while also proving to be quite unforgettable..

T.Be sure to check out all of the pictures on my Picasa Photostream...click here!

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