The heavy equipment operators of the South Pole Traverse team made it to the South Pole today.  Their important cargo of fuel, food, and construction supplies were a welcome arrival at the station.

The South Pole Traverse, also called the McMurdo – South Pole Highway, is an approximately 900-mile compacted snow road in Antarctica that links McMurdo Station on the coast to the South Pole Station. It was constructed by leveling snow and filling in crevasses – flags mark its route.  The McMurdo Ice Shelf and the Antarctic Plateau are relatively stable. Most crevasses occur in the short steep shear zone between them, where the road climbs to more than 6,000 feet above sea level. This section of the road needs maintenance each season. This section caused much more construction work than planned, since the two ice sheets move against each other.

File:Map of the McMurdo-South Pole highway.jpg

The National Science Foundation wants to use the traverse as an alternative way to deliver fuel, as well as bulky materials, to the South Pole. Currently, the ski-equipped LC-130 aircraft operated by the New York Air National Guard is the only means of such transport. And the traverse tractors and their sleds wouldn’t return to McMurdo empty, as they could haul back waste and obsolete materials.

The 10-person team hopes to deliver about 264,000 pounds of cargo to South Pole and AGAP, along with 55,000 gallons of fuel to the South Pole and 50,000 gallons to the AGAP (Antarctica Gamburtsev Province) field camp. The traverse will use up to 80,000 gallons on the trail this year.



  1. betty marie chapman (amundsen) says:

    i wish all the people a safe and interesting journey to the south pole.
    my grandfather august amundsen son of amund iversen and gjertine halvorsdatter was born on 12th april 1858 in molde norway. he was the twin brother to anna gjertine. august left norway at 11years of age with his elder brother henrik edvard to work on ships. at 16 years of age he arrived in sydney australia and never left. he married an australian girl of irish decent and they had six children.
    when my father was 8years of age in 1911 (i have been told) that roald amundsen arrived in sydney harbour from the south pole expedition . my grandfather took my father to the ship “fram” to meet roald amundsen. betty marie chapman (amundsen) b:11.12.1927

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