1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

On the Roof at the Bottom of the World by Ella Derbyshire

Want to add this gigapan to your favorites? Log In or Sign Up now.

Log In now to add this Gigapan to a group gallery.

About This Gigapan

Taken by
Ella Derbyshire Ella Derbyshire
Explore score
Print Pricing
$53.00 to $164.00
0.08 Gigapixels
Date added
Feb 26, 2009
Date taken
Feb 27, 2009

Nikon D80's

architectural, environmental, geology, landscape, nature, social, travel

GigapanMagazine.org Will open in a new tab or window vol 1 issue 2

Contributors: Billy Stiner, Nathan Greenland and Rose

Science is the purpose of our presence at the bottom of the world, and there are certainly a lot of scientists here, but people arrive at the South Pole with a variety of job skills that are needed for building or operating Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The two gentlemen pictured here are finishing the A-1 roof of the new elevated station. Most of the 13 summer siding carps left the South Pole before the last plane flew away on February 16, but these two carpenters will remain for the winter. This afternoon, they are working in the fading daylight, alone in the cold on a very big roof.

February 27 was a beautiful clear day at the South Pole. The temperature was -52 degrees Fahrenheit. The wind was fairly constant around 9 knots and blowing from grid northeast. The wind chill was in the -80's. My camera protested with only 120 shots today, despite an extra battery warming in an inside coat pocket between panoramas.

There is a lot of emphasis on safety here. You will notice the harnesses that secure my friends to the cable that runs down the center of the roof where they are working. They are about 50 feet above the surrounding ice and snow. The walking surface can get very slippery, and it is difficult to maneuver in the layers of clothing and boots that we wear outside. Even with the canvas lean-to providing some shelter from the wind, they need to be careful to avoid frostbite and hypothermia as sunset approaches and falling temperatures bring greater risk of injury. Carpenters' tools, like my camera, work better in warmer temperatures.

When the sun sets below the horizon next month, these two carpenters will come inside the station to work. Their job probably won't be as difficult, and the view won't be as spectacular, but these carpenters will still be very extraordinary people who are working in a very extraordinary place.

The 34 images of this panorama were photographed with a reluctant Nikon D80 and stitched with Autopano Pro.

Gigapan Comments (4)

Toggle Minimize gigapan_comment
  1. The Gigapanographer Currently Known as "Kilgore661"

    The Gigapanographer Currently Known as "Kilgore661" (April 21, 2013, 06:17AM )

    You are right. Sorry about that. I have noticed that some gigapans' geocoding has been broken by the gigapan system, and in the little map you get on this page, you can't see any geographical features no matter how much you zoom out.

  2. Ella Derbyshire

    Ella Derbyshire (April 21, 2013, 02:02AM )

    This photograph still seems to be Geocoded to very, very close to the South Pole. GoogleEarth should take you to the Antarctic Plateau.

  3. The Gigapanographer Currently Known as "Kilgore661"

    The Gigapanographer Currently Known as "Kilgore661" (December 22, 2012, 08:07AM )

    Geocoded at wrong pole?

  4. Freezedriedengineer

    Freezedriedengineer (August 25, 2009, 06:38PM )

    Great Photo! One of the interesting things about this project was that the electric tools literally stop working in the cold. (ie -60F and colder) These guys would have to bring in their saws and electric drills to warm them up when they quit working. Also, electrical extension cords become stiff when frozen and are almost completely unflexible. Nathan aka: freezedriedengineer, 2009 Winterover

Where in the World is this GigaPan?


Member Log In