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    Hello! This is my first post, although I have been reading this board off and on for a couple years. I applied for the 3rd year but in late July. I was also able to get a name of a recruiter. She ultimately told me I was too late which I figured. Then last week I got an e-mail about being a DA and to reply if interested. I am currently in Denali with my contract almost up so I immediately replied. I also e-mailed the recruiter and she gave me two names to e-mail but I have heard nothing.
    Just wondering if this is normal? It will actually be 2wks on Tuesday.
    I am also wondering if they are maybe looking at W/O DA positions. I have found a few blogs of people that went down as a W/O for their first time but they all seem to have been contacted later and pretty much immediately after the e-mail.
    Thanks in advance!!


    Hi Karkar, welcome to the board. If you live in Denali you’re in good company — many Ice people live in Alaska and around the Denali area.

    First off, it’s never too late to apply (no matter what anybody tells you). Most of the positions are filled in April-May for August or October deployments, but deployments can happen anytime between August through February — or even later for Peninsula and ship jobs.

    As far as hearing nothing, that’s disappointing but not surprising. Most of the hiring managers either have deployed already or are doing so. Things are very hectic. But two weeks seems like more than enough time… If you’re serious, I’d bug the heck out of all your contacts. Just because they’re on the Ice doesn’t mean they’re incommunicado: their email addresses remain the same as they were in Denver, and they do have telephones there.

    Winter-over positions may be hired up until, say, the beginning of January. After that it becomes difficult to PQ and deploy someone in that short amount of time (McMurdo and Pole both close in February, give or take a bit).

    What was your contract in Denali?




    Hey Glenn,
    Thanks for the reply! My contract was in employee housing with Aramark but I transferred to retail Oct. 1st. I have heard that alot of people have come from here. I hope that helps my chances:) Afterall, I can say I have experienced the joys of living and working all in the same place. I also get to enjoy walking to all water related facilities:) Luckily, the lights are out so that is my reward each night.

    You give me hope to keep e-mailing. I might have the option to be back in Denali in January but Antarctica is obviously the preferred place to be. Two weeks ago I was wishing for an answer here and now I hope they hold off in case I can get something in Antarctica:)

    Thanks again. It can be so nerve-racking waiting. How is Palmer by the way? I have read that the weather there is actually very nice for Antarctica standards. We had our first snowfall this weekend. I was driving back from Anchorage and the mountain was out the whole way. A truly magical drive with the snow.


    Hi Karkar,

    yeah, the hiring process can be nerve-racking. All I can say is keep at it, as persistence is key.

    @karkar wrote:

    How is Palmer by the way? I have read that the weather there is actually very nice for Antarctica standards. We had our first snowfall this weekend. I was driving back from Anchorage and the mountain was out the whole way. A truly magical drive with the snow.

    Wow, if you saw the mountain the whole way that was indeed a rare day. Palmer’s weather is, hmmm… Like Seward’s only 20-30F colder and considerably windier. It’s interesting, folks from the “continental side” of Antarctica (McMurdo and Pole) are always teasing Palmerites about how nice it is there, but none of those hecklers have wintered there. McMurdo is, in many respects, cushy by comparison. And I never had to chip a 1/2 inch of ice off a walkway in a 50 knot gale at Mactown…



    Hey Glenn!
    I followed your advice and e-mailed them again and was contacted. YEA!!! It is for the winter season so I told them I am still interested. Now at least I know they are aware of me:) I cannot say I know exactly what you mean about the ice, but I used to work on top of Pikes Peak here in Colorado Springs, and we would take the cold anyday to freezing rain and wind. I was also reading the other posts and saw that you are at the pole! That would be great to be able to be at all three bases in such a short amount of time! I am back in Colorado Springs now and the temp was 71 today. I have to brag a little since we had such a dismal season in Denali:)
    Well, thanks again for your words of encouragement. Although as busy as I am sure you are, I hope you are enjoying yourself!
    Thanks again

    Baghdad Jim

    Wow, you landed a screening for a winter the first time around…sweeeeeet 8) Congratz! This winter or next, if I may ask?


    Hi Jim,
    It would be for this winter in a few months. I have not heard anything more but at least he did write me and ask if that time frame worked for me. I know how these processes work, so I am trying to be patient:) So are you currently in Baghdad?!?! My Dad is in Balad, Iraq and said it has started to cool down around 100F or something…I don’t know that I could enjoy those kinds of temperatures:)
    I seem to remember reading back awhile that you were applying to go to the ice, but I do not remember the outcome. How did it go for you?
    Anyways, thanks for the congrats!

    Baghdad Jim

    Karkar, ooohhyea, I was really hoping to get on this season. Didn’t happen, but not for lack of trying. I’m still in the sandbox–actually in Kuwait for a few days on a medical but headed back…I should change my location tag; I left Baghdad a hair over a month ago for the cooler climes of Kirkuk, northern Iraq. Cold enough at night to need a jacket…unless, of course, you’re at the bar that the Brits run… 😀

    I’ll still make the ice one day…just not this time around. Oh did I ever try..emailing hiring managers, filling out the HireRite forms for different positions, emailing other managers to find out if so&so was still the airtrans, billeting, etc hiring managers…my number simply didnt turn up this time around for whatever reason.

    If you got picked up to go straight into a winter, that would be supremely sweet IMO.


    Hey Jim,
    That is too bad to hear that. I have heard it can be very difficult to get on. I am not going to get too excited until I hear something further. I have one more question that you might give some insight on…
    I am considering a 4-week volunteer/vacation to Thailand and am wondering if that could hurt my chances with being chosen if I am not easily available for them? I am looking at 11/22-12/20. Glenn, if you are reading I would appreciate your thoughts also! I would love to go but my ultimate destination is Antarctica and I do not want to do anything that might put me a step back in their consideration. For instance if they were interested and then found out I would not be available to start everything to PQ until late December or early January, would they maybe look at someone else?
    All opinions are appreciated!!

    Been There


    Tough position to be in. If a winter position opens and they try to reach you with no success they likely will move down the list so you could be out of luck. If the Thailand trip is something you really want to do, plan to go after your winter in Antarctica. I don’t work for RPSC but I have been around the program longer than most and that’s my recommendation.

    Been There


    Hi Karkar,

    That’s a long time to be out of the country at a critical stage. I don’t want to discourage you from going to Thailand (have you been there already? neat place, good people) but my first hunch is that it might nuke your Antarctic chances this year — unless you can postpone the trip until after you’ve accepted a job and PQ’d. Even then time would be very short because they’d probably want you to deploy within a few weeks after being PQ’d.

    Keep bugging them! My impression is that enthusiasm and availability are 8/10ths of the hiring process. Persistence works better than patience. 😉



    Hi Glenn and Been There!
    Thanks for the advice. I was thinking along those lines…I had been delaying in buying the ticket because I kind of figured that. It is true that I can plan it for next winter. I have never been but I found a volunteer organization there and with Thailand so cheap I was thinking it could be a good place to spend a month:) So Glenn, you have been to Thailand?!? Any must see places? I am glad I asked you guys. Maybe I will get a job for a couple months instead…I am getting a little bored:) Been There, thanks for your input! I really appreciate both of your opinions. It is so nice to be able to ask questions and get opinions from different people! What would we do without the internet. I cannot imagine finding information about this job if not for the internet.
    Thanks again!!!


    Hey, Karkar —

    I too, have worked for Aramark, up in Denali. Did three summers in 96-98. Love the place, didn’t care for the company. Made many great ice contacts up there, and eventually got a job on the ice. Started coming down in October of 98.

    So, if you were in Retail up there, did you know McMary? She’s a good friend of mine.

    I’m in McMurdo, right now, and will be here through the winter. In fact, I leave 40 weeks from TODAY! 😀

    What job would you be doing down here? The population will only be 124, so you might be doing some ‘extra’ stuff, as well.

    Look me up when you get to town – I’ll be the Mr. Clean guy, sitting at the far end of the bar at the Coffee House.

    Good luck.



    Hi Mightyatlas-
    I do know McMary! She is really nice. I worked the whole month of October with just her and Karen. Thanks for writing! I love to hear from people down there.
    As for the job I would be doing, I am in review for the DA position. I read that they were downsizing but I did not know by how much. I am more than willing to help out in other areas, if for no other reason than to maybe get a foot in the door elsewhere in case I want to continue this. I have a friend who has been doing it for a few years and really enjoys it. I know I want to continue in seasonal work for awhile. This season in Alaska I was able to pay off all my bills and my car so now I would like to start saving for travel and/or a house down the road. So you never know…
    Unfortunately, the interview process has well, not really progressed. I did e-mail the hiring manager again to “remind” him of my continued interest and he did reply right away saying they would be hiring soon but that was about two weeks ago…I am just hoping I am still being considered.
    I am sure it is written somewhere but what job are you doing down there? Also, is this your first winter in the ice or have you wintered previously?
    If I do make it down I will definitely look you up to say hello 🙂


    Hey Atlas-
    I am new to this forum thing so being that you are in IT, do not laugh at me, but here’s a dumb question 😳 Did you get my message? I posted a reply and then hit submit but the reason I ask is that it is in my outbox and not my sentbox.
    If you did, pretend I never asked 🙂

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