To isolate the seismometer from the activities of the station, it had to be located 5 miles away, and it is one of the farthest scientific instruments from the station.
A couple of days ago I was called to go service the instrument. 5 miles is far enough that we have to take some precautions before going, and we have to go in pairs. So, I hopped on a snowmobile with Tim, our surveyor, and off we went bumping up and down the sastrugi, like riding a boat on a rough sea, out in the middle of nowhere. There are no groomed tracks that far out on the ice, so we have to follow a flag line to our destination. After the 30 min ride we were far enough that the station was barely visible as a dot in the distance, and we could enjoy the view that the first explorers had when they first arrived at the South Pole, 99 years ago. It took us about 1 hr to do our work, document it, and enjoy the vast expanse of white nothingness in -25 F (-32 C) temperature and 15-knot (17 mph) winds.
Field work at SPRESSO.
Tim, our surveyor, is a veteran of the ice, having spent 9 seasons at the South Pole, and a true lover of the outdoors. He drove the 5 miles to the SPRESSO site and back.