The 2001-2002 Austral summer season got underway with the arrival from McMurdo of two ski equipped Hercules aircraft on the 25th October, 2001. Three aircraft were originally scheduled for that day but cloudy weather closing in meant that the third aircraft returned to McMurdo.

The following pictures record events at the South Pole Station in approximate chronological order. This season will see continual building of the new Pole Station with a second wing being added.

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USAF Air National Guard LC-130 Hercules 2094 landing 25th October, 2001  (Photo Scott F. Smith)


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USAF Air National Guard LC-130 Hercules 2094 being unloaded.      (Photo Scott F. Smith)


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USAF Air National Guard LC-130 Hercules 2094 with Tractor unloading pallet.

Note the new Pole Station building in front of aircraft.   (Photo Scott F. Smith)


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USAF Air National Guard LC-130 Hercules 2094 with palletised cargo being unloaded

(Photo Scott F. Smith)

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During the middle of November, 2001 South Pole plumbing staff  digging a hole in the ground to gain access to the underground tunnel ripped through an old cargo parachute. The image above shows the corner section of part of  this parachute with the manufacturing details printerd showing it to be one of the old original chutes from 1956-57-58 time frame. Half of the Parachute remains buried in the Ice Wall.  (Photo Scott F. Smith)


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The end of the new Station building where the next pod (wing of building) will be added. (Photo Jerry Marty)

To see more details of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole new building program click here to go to the special South Pole station web page of Ferraro Choi And Associates who are the architects involved.

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A close up of the construction crew laying out foundations for the new pod.   (Photo Jerry Marty)


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Caterpillar bulldozers being used to allign support beams for new pod.   (Photo Jerry Marty)


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On 17th November 2001, the first columns were erected for the next pod   (Photo Jerry Marty)


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Surveying continues despite poor visibility conditions. (Photo Jerry Marty)


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Blizzard conditions eventually force workers inside on 18th November, 2001   (Photo Jerry Marty)


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Another view taken during poor visibility.   (Photo Jerry Marty)


The following series of photos taken on December 2nd show the arrival of the first tourist flight for the season by Adventure Network International. The turbo charged ex DC3 has this season been reflagged back to a Canadian registry andf the colour scheme redone. this flight bringing 6 tourists is the first of several flights bringing in an expected total of 40 people for season by ANI.
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The following aerial photos have been released to the public this week by the US National Science Foundation. They show the progress on the new station building and its relationship to the other buildings at the South Pole.

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This distant view shows the new pole station in yellow at far left

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The old dome station is at left and the new pole station at bottom right with its service tower (in silver attached. the cylyndrical buildings in the centre are the fuel arch and garage shop archs.

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A different angle with the new station at left. This view shows how the old dome station is being surrounded by the accumulation of snow over the seasons.

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This view shows at the bottom the foundations for the next pod for the new station as well as most of the other buildings in the background including science buildings, accomodation and piles of building material.

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The following four images taken by Scott F. Smith show a United States Antarctic Program twin otter aircraft at the South Pole on December 5th, 2001. It was engaged on transport people to and from a remote Automated geophysical Observatory site.

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The following 7 images were taken by Jerry Marty between the 5th and 7th of December, 2001 and show the considerable progress being made erecting the main supports for the new pod plus the first of the support beams.

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The following 7 images taken by Scott F Smith show the arrival of the second Adventure Network International flight to the South Pole on the evening of Sunday 16th December 2001.  Only a single tourist passenger was deplanned at the South Pole with 6 -7 people previously dropped off at 89 degrees south to ski from there to the South Pole.

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On the Antarctic plateau a strange atmospherical feature is the presence of "Sun Dogs" in the sky. The extreme dry atmosphere with free ice crystals in the air causes imitation suns to appear to the viewer much as rainbows do in more temperate climates. This refractive light can cause several imitation suns  and the two following imagesclearly show this Antarctic curiosity.

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Chinese Film Crew.

A 6 person film crew from the Peoples Republic of China flew into the South Pole by ANI Aircraft on the18th of December. They unfurled a large Chinese flag and flew it from a flagpole at the Geographic South Pole while recording the event. Photos by Scott f. Smith.

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The following two photos show a Kenn Borek Air Ltd Twin Otter C-GCKB which arrived at the South Pole just before Christmas. According to the pilot this aircraft was recently purchased from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police who no longer fly this model. Photos by Scott F. Smith

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Early on Christmas Day the 7 person "Ski the Last Degree" expedition arrived at the South Pole. They had been flown by Adventure Network International aircraft to a location 60 miles north of the South Pole from where they skied the last 60 miles. They arrive in time to see the famous South Pole "The Race Around the World" race run by the personnel of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.  Photos by Scott F. Smith.

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"Last Degree" members being met by South Pole base members.

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At the Ceremonial South Pole with the "barber pole" visible below the Argentine flag.

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Approaching the Geographic South Pole situated beside the American flag.

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Arrived at the Geographic South Pole and unfurling an expedition flag.

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the "Ski The Last Degree" camp site at the South Pole.


This race is a annual one held every Xmas Day. Participants who complete the race are awarded a certificate and are also entitled to purchase a special "Race Around the World" T-shirt. The race is around a pre-set marked course of several miles but can be covered in any fashion ranging from running, skiing, cycling, riding on a machine and any other method devised by participants. photos by Stephen Richter.

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The easy way around the circuit on the sled behind a D-6 caterpillar.

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By cycle with studded tyres. This form of transport is often used at the South Pole

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Snow toboggan or Skidoo towing a raft of racers.

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This team including Father Xmas  is hauled by a Reindeer.

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Skiers towed by Skidoo passing inside a Hagglund towing a sled

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The usual method however is either skiing or running

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Warm weather wear is still necessary in the sub-zero temperatures

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This season one of the dangers was this lost Polar Bear seen attacking a race participant

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The race is over so now what?


The following 10 pictures taken by Jerry Marty show construction progress on the new station as at the end of December 2001

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On the 8th January, 23002 a Russian Antonov 3 aircraft arrived at the South Pole with a party of 14 people including the Vice-Chairman of the Russian State Duma (Parliament).  The 14 people also included tourists from the Ukraine, France, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. The visit was accorded special VIP treatment on account of the Russian political involvement.  Unfortunately a mechanical problem has caused the aircraft to be grounded indefinitely with alternative plans currently being considered to fly the party out. The following photos shows the Antanov 3 aircraft  and the Russian party with the Duma Vice-President holding a flag in front of the South Pole marker.                          Photos by Scott F. Smith

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More photos of this visit can be seen here


On the 18th January 2002 South Pole Station played host "overnight" to four aircraft. This is not a usual event but bad weather elsewhere on the continent forced two US National Air Guard ski-equipped Hercules aircraft (LC-130) to return there after bad weather at McMurdo closed the airport there. These aircraft joined a British Twin Otter waiting for better weather and the broken down Russian Antonov-3 aircraft at the South Pole. The extra personnel were bedded down in the stations gymnasium and library.

Photos by Scott F. Smith

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The British Antarctic Survey Twin Otter aircraft stranded at South Pole Station.

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Another view of the BAS Twin Otter with parts of the new station behind

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One of the American Hercules with the BAS Twin Otter.

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A close up view of the Hercules showing the landing gear.

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An attractive view of aircraft 30491

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A view of the second stranded Hercules showing the large cargo door.

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Another view with the new station at right rear.

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A view showing the three stranded aircraft.


Meanwhile building continues on the new station as shown below

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An unusual event for 2002 was the first ever South Pole marathon. This was run over a course from 26 miles from the South Pole to the South Pole and involved a numbers of runners from various nations. The event was supported by Adventure network International who flew in the runners in their DC3 aircraft. The eventual results were as follows;


Winner:       Richard Donovan, 35 Ireland.        8 hours 51 minutes.

2nd place.    Dean Kamazes, 39 USA.                 9 hours 21 minutes.

3rd place.    Brent Weinger, 52 USA.                9 hours 31 minutes.


Winner:  Ute Gruner.   55 Germany          Time unknown.
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The Marathoners tents with the new Pole station building in the background.

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A closer view of tents showing sleds with running gear.

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Somebody made an attempt to create an igloo. The Marathoners DC3 aircraft is shown at right.

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The marathoners aircraft with American NSF Twin otter aircraft in background.

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A photo taken about January 24th 2002 showing work on the second pod of the new station.

To see more details of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole new building program click here to go to the special South Pole station web page of Ferraro Choi And Associates who are the architects involved.

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