Friday, February 15, 2008

Closed for winter

Station closing day came early this year. A forecast for bad weather here on Friday led to a late announcement on Wednesday that the last flights of the season would come and go on Thursday. All of the remaining summer folks who weren't planning on staying for the winter were sent scrambling to pack their bags, clean up their rooms, finish up last minute projects and say their goodbyes.

So on Valentine's Day, plenty of hugs were shared as we assembled to see the last plane off. Skier 93 landed early at 1pm and a steady stream of parkas filed out from the station to the flight deck. They didn't waste any time loading up the plane so goodbyes were quickly said and the last passengers hauled their orange carry on bags to the awaiting LC-130.

Following tradition, Skier 93 did a flyover of the station as we waved goodbye. We started walking back when the announcement came over our radios that the pilot called and said he was going to do another, probably because the contrails left a murky haze and we weren't able to see the plane too clearly on the first flyby. It was worth waiting around for a few minutes more as the plane roared by in a low pass, dipping its wings at us in a final farewell.

And now we are once again left here at the bottom of the world for another polar winter. This year we have a crew of 60, including 11 women. It's a good mix of seasoned veterans and fresh new faces. Some in the crew have been here all summer and some just arrived 2 days before closing. There are many names and faces I don't know here but I'll have the next 8 months to get to know people.

The next month will be busy as we prepare for the long winter, moving supplies in, shutting down outlying buildings, taking down skiway flags, marking routes with other flags. This morning we're going to move in the last pallet of our freshies that we received and will enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables for hopefully a couple of months until they run out or rot.

So, let the winter fun begin!


At 11:52 PM, Blogger Contractor said...

do they still have 13 month winterover contracts?

At 1:50 AM, Blogger Edward said...

I been reading your blog for a couple of years. yuor blogs are most interesting and very informative.
May this winter over be a safe and healthy one.

At 3:28 AM, Blogger AaroN said...

Didn't decide to join all the guys in the gym to watch The Thing? ;)

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Piergiuliano said...

I wish you and all the others winterover all the good luck you need for the coming future. Piergiuliano, Italy

At 7:19 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

Contractor - About half the crew was here for the summer so they'll have completed a full 13 months by the end of winter. I like just coming in for the winter and not dealing with the craziness of summer.

Aaron...I didn't think anyone would notice that I didn't attend The Thing. Dang.

Edward and Piergiuliano - Thanks for the well wishes. Hopefully I'll have some posts that are different from last winter.

At 4:39 AM, Blogger egon_austria said...

Greetings from the heart of the Alps - Innsbruck in Austria - twice Winter-Olympic-Town 1964 and 1976.
You have a great website!
I wish you all the best for another w/o on South-Pole

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Neal this year :o(

At 8:23 PM, Blogger Contractor said...

would that be the same Neal of Winterover semi-nude Calander fame a few years ago? I figured him for a career WO.


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