What do ice people think about the SPole highway?

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    Baghdad Jim



    Now there’s a group going to activley lobby against it—but I’m not seeing any reference to a formally organized group, just “A global coalition of environmental groups “. Greenpeace, doesn’t seem to be on this one.


    (Please take my comments here as a bit of cynical tounge-in-cheek, I’m not taking myself too seriously.) 😉

    Hmmmm. Let’s stop and think about this for a moment…

    …The “road” is packed snow. How long will it last? Probably until the next snowstorm, which in Antarctica is… everyday. Parts may get scoured and be visible for a few years, but the ice will reclaim it quickly. Duh.

    …Are we the first to build (*gasp!*) a long road between stations? Heck no. The French, Russians, and probably others have done similar traverses for hundreds of miles. Nobody squawked then. Oh, but wait… this is going to THE POLE. So what? Now the skiing NGO’s will have a flagged route instead of having to rely on GPS or, gawd forbid, common-sense.

    …Okay, so we don’t build it. How does stuff get to the Pole then? It’s flown. Does anyone think that flying over Antarctica is any less polluting than driving? Hello?

    …Let’s assume it works. That’s a BIG assumption; I personally think it will take way too much maintenance to make it worthwhile. But nevermind me, now we can tote things to the pole that wouldn’t fit inside the cargo hold of an LC-130 (without the gleeful use of a plasma torch), or maybe we can drag a year’s worth of fuel in just a few trips. Gonzo. What’s the big deal?

    …Oh wait, wait — somebody’s already done it! A group from the UK took a pleasure drive to Pole just this year. The bastards beat us to it! And they didn’t even need no stinkin’ road. Someone call Greenpeace! What’s that, they don’t care? How do you spell Hypocrisy. At least they could have brought a few thousand gallons of AN-8 with them, but nooooo.


    (I didn’t take these pictures, not sure who did.)

    Baghdad Jim

    yea, right..(laughs) like those containers with the Canon sticker had nothing to do with Sally Struthers lil’ side biz of smuggling kidney material to the spole lead chef.

    Been There


    Nice to see some folks bother to think about the specifics before they make a judgement on this one. Those that are concerned about environmental impact should take time to educate themselves on the difference between a jet engine and a tractor engine. Look at the CEE for the traverse activity.


    I find it a bit ironic that Sir Ed is involved in the criticism about the road. I’ve met him (I’m sure you have too B.T.) and I like him. But hey, wasn’t he the first person to drive to the pole? Things that make you go Hmmmm.

    Rather than focus on a showy cheap-shot, I’d like to see the environmental organizations concentrate more on The Bad Things that really are happening here, day after day. Here’s an example:

    I’ve been back at Palmer just under two months. In that time we’ve found two, maybe three small buoys free-floating or washed ashore. Mind you, we’re way the heck and gone from anywhere. These are probably lost from long-liners fishing in these waters, busily contributing to the endangerment or extinction of mawsonii (a.k.a. Chilean Sea Bass, Antarctic Cod, Patagonian Toothfish, etc) and the hoards of bird bycatch that also fall victim to the hooks, very likely albatross.

    I don’t care about tire tracks in the snow, but it would be nice if some animals were still living a few years from now.

    Okay. I’ll get off the soapbox now.



    calling it a road in the first place is a bit of a joke. You probably couldn’t tell you were were on it.
    Flying things to the pole is such a waste. And dangerous to boot. I don’t know why we didn’t do this years ago .
    I would imagine some relate it to the Alaska pipeline and the ecological damage that was potentially done. Not much in the way of wildlife once you get away from the coast.


    we’ll get our hard packed runway and have no need for a “road” anyway. The traverse is by no means a road, and those who call it that are ignorant. That said, I would have liked to be on the traverse, and seen some sights. The van drove in from the coast in like 67 hours, that thing was sweet. Guess I picked a good summer/winter to be at pole.

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