More About Snow Craft School

Hi Amanda,

It was fun to take the training, but I was also glad when it was over. I did not go snow blind because I kept my glasses on all the time. Snow blindness makes your eyes hurt really bad. Although the pain may be temporary, it can cause permanent eye damage. When I felt my beard getting stiff, I took my bare hands and cupped them over my mouth and blew. The warmth from my hands and breath softened the ice. I then dried my face with a handkerchief.

Our tents did not blow over because we installed them properly. The instructors told us horror stories of people blowing away in their tents. The ropes that anchored the tents were tied to deadman anchors. The anchors can be any object buried in the ground in a fashion so they will not pull out. We even used the ice axes to anchor the tent. We are not allowed to keep the axes, but we can get them to use if we need them.

I hope the snow was good to eat because we used it for our dinners. We had a very good selection of dinners. I decided to have the Black Bart Chili With Beans. All the stuff was dry in the bag. I put boiling water in the bag and mixed it up, and put it in a pot of boiling water to keep it warm while it soaked up the water.

Thanks for writing,

Hi Nickle,

Happy Birthday! I think you must be referring to the bag of cold weather gear. It is not that heavy to carry the bag, it weighs maybe 20-30 pounds. There are other big bags of survival gear that are sealed and only opened in an emergency. We do not need to carry them around, but usually stay on the helicopter or vehicle. They contain tents, sleeping bags, fuel, food and clothing.

The Scott Tents were the largest, and could hold 4 people. We slept two people in each of the Scott tents. There were other newer style tents which were smaller. They would hold 2 people.

Right now the weather has been holding about the same with highs in the 30's and lows in the 20's. In August, the average lows will be minus 25 and highs will be minus 10. We do not get big snow accumulations here. The snow fields are built over many years.

I did not ride in the Haglund, but I would guess it held about 4 people. I am not sure how fast it will go, but the roads are so rough, I would not want to go very fast. I did not hurt my butt very much when I slid, but the shock did hurt my back. It is OK now.

The supply ship is here now, and they are unloading all the food and supplies they brought in for the next year.

Thanks for writing,
Dave (8-{}}}

Hi Kaley,

I am doing fine. What is MSPAP? Matt, the fellow working with me, pointed some whales out to me last night. The open water is still about 3 miles out, but the ice near town is broken, with small pools of water. I saw what looked like 2 plumes of steam, which where whales coming up to breathe. I am not sure what type they where.

Thanks for writing,

[Whales: A Thematic Unit]

Hi Kristen,

I do not mind you asking, I am 42. I had fun climbing up the glacier, but it was hard. There was one person in our group that fell twice and slid down to the bottom.

We do not get much snow, the most I have seen is about 1/4 inch. The snow then blows away. The snow accumulates from year to year in many places. This allows scientists to drill down and monitor pollution going back many years. At the south pole the ice from accumulated snow is almost 2 miles deep.

Survival school is another name for Snow Craft school. We were taught how to use the emergency equipment. We did not have a formal classroom like you have, and most of the school was outside. Silver City is near the school site which is called Snow Mound City. They are not really cities, but just a few buildings. Silver City is no more than 2 buildings which are used for emergency shelter in the summer. In the winter, people go there to spend the night, to get out of town, and look at the stars.

I have not talked with Zac in about a week, but we usually talk by phone at least once a week.

Thanks for writing,

Hi Krystle,

I am doing well. The survival school was fun and very educational. They did teach some good tricks for staying alive in the cold. It is almost always freezing here, but in the summer it does get a little above freezing. I did not get to go to the pole, but Matt has gone 3 times this trip. I went out to Black Island last week, and will be returning there this week. It is about a 20 minute helicopter ride from McMurdo.

I have not seen any whales that I can identify, but I did see a few whales coming up for air. The ice is still thick in the sound, the open water is about 3 miles out. We saw what looked like steam a few hundred yards off Hut Point last night. It was the whales pushing air out their blow hole. I have not seen any penguins yet, but I am watching for them.

Thanks for writing,

Patricia A. Weeg
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