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Exploring Near the South Pole by Ella Derbyshire

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Ella Derbyshire Ella Derbyshire
Explore score
Print Pricing
$7.00 to $855.00
0.05 Gigapixels
Date added
Mar 11, 2009
Date taken
Mar 10, 2009

Nikon D80's

environmental, fine art, geology, landscape, nature, photojournalism, social, travel

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

Contributor: Cap'n Jack Sharp

Even though it was discovered less than 100 years ago, there are many mysteries surrounding the South Pole. Among the recent mysteries is the location of Old Pole, which was closed in 1974 and has been off limits to would-be explorers from the new station for almost a decade.

There have been three South Pole research stations: Old Pole which was built beginning in the summer of 1956-57, the Dome which was under construction from 1970-74, and dedicated in 1975, and the new elevated station, which was started in 1997 and dedicated on January 12, 2008.

This image shows us checking out the area around Old Pole. This is the first official trip to the site in years. We will be removing the culvert that leads to the entrance and sealing that entrance by filling it with snow. The job is to be completed before the sun sets in 2009.

Old Pole is off limits because the snow that covers it is crushing the station, threatening to bury anyone who ventures inside. The buildings beneath us are collapsing under the weight of 50 year’s of accumulated snow. Before we start this task, we are making sure that it can be safely closed off, and we are figuring out exactly what we need to get the job done.

It seems to many of us who were there that the closing of the entrance to Old Pole ends an important era in Antarctic history. I believe that this is true. It was a sad event in many ways, but the work and courage of the first construction crews and of all of the crews who followed them does not pass out of memory because the buildings of Old Pole are gone from sight.

The 14 images of this panorama were photographed with a Nikon D80 and stitched with Autopano Pro.

Gigapan Comments (2)

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  1. Ella Derbyshire

    Ella Derbyshire (August 29, 2009, 05:44PM )

    The old pole is covered with at least 30 foot of hard packed snow and you would not even know it was there except for a few marking flags showing were the one entrance is. ----Cap'n Jack, VMF

  2. Fraser Anderson

    Fraser Anderson (March 11, 2009, 04:45PM )

    Love your South Pole pans . . . I shudder thinking of the temperatures. Thinking back 100 years when men with less support and technology would winter over . . . . brrrrrr

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