It’s my experience that it’s easier to do a winter if you have summered first somewhere along the way. Winter in many respects is way better than the summer. You get a room to yourself, lots of space and workload tends to be things you can plan instead of a million emergencies popping up at the last minute.
The down side is that you are far away from friends and family for a very long time. It is however, not unlike moving to Seattle when your family is in Baltimore. You can call on the phone. You can email, but you can’t easily go home to visit when you have to be back at work the next day.
In McMurdo you can’t go home even if you wanted. But other than that workwise it is similar to working anyplace. There are bosses who have bosses who have bosses and everybody wants things done their way. As in the states they are concerned with the “Big Picture” that you will never see. The nice thing about the winter is that the bosses are back in Denver so things have a way of running a little smoother.
In general, I think that if at the end of the summer you are ok with wintering, then you will do fine. I think most people who don’t do well, know it before the winter starts.