Thursday, 21 February 2008

Blizzards

I've got a rabbit on my head; I've got leather gloves, fleece, jacket, padded overalls, rigger boots, and a headover pulled up over my ears. Only the very tip of my nose sticks out below my goggles. It's just reached 40 knots. The pressure is 965mBar, but it's expected to drop a fair bit yet before this blow bottoms out. We've been lucky with the weather so far this year, but it's turned against us now.

Going outside is entertaining. The buildings are about 500m apart. Visibility is about a 10th of that. A few steps struggling into the wind and the accomodation building is lost in the driving snow behind. All about is white; even without snow plastered across your goggles it's impossible to make out any features on the ground. Stagger across the sastrugi, tripping on the windtails that form behind any obstruction. There is nothing in your world except the handline beside you.

Head down, plod on. Surely the science platform must be close? Peering ahead there is nothing. Until, suddenly, it looms, only a few steps away. Up the steps and into the warm, only the swaying of the building and a tingly nose to remind you of the blizzard outside.

All lots of fun. Though I'll be sleeping in the lounge tonight. The 'Annex'- the shipping containers that have been put up as temporary accomodation for the excess people on base this season - has drifted in. Might be possible to get in with a bit of digging, but it'll just have drifted in again in the morning. If they had been clever they would have made the doors open inwards - at least then you could dig your way out.

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