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Discovering a historic Plateau StationWritten by US-Norway Traverse
3670 meters above sea level
Maximum & Minimum temperatures: - 28 to - 36 °C
With general coordinates of the abandoned station determined by satellite images of the long-buried packed snow runway, today we stopped at Plateau Station. This was the site of a US science camp from 1966-69, but had not been occupied or visited by any US field team since then.
No one could tell us what evidence of the abandoned station may still exist above the drifting snow. Immediately visible upon our arrival was the tall meteorological tower, still standing solidly above five smaller towers and the top of a flag mast. To our delight, on closer inspection, also immediately visible at snow level was the clear dome of the aurora tower and the top of a smokestack of the old main station.
We entered this polar museum through a plywood hatch near the clear dome, and climbed down into the -51.3°C chill of the station. Except for a few rooms which were inaccessible due to doors jammed shut from shifting frames, the station appeared much as it must have when the last US Navy person closed the door to the station in January 1969. Furniture, electronics parts, a washing machine, and light fixtures truly made the station a museum from the late 1960’s.
We took only photos and left only our own NOR-USA expedition holiday photo, but each of us will always cherish the memories of this rare opportunity to witness an element of polar history.
Photo: Plateau Station (Photo: Stein Tronstad)
This contribution is from the log of the Norwegian-US Scientific Traverse team, who are en route from Troll Station to South Pole Station. Much more information can be found here.
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Comment Link Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00 posted by Salvatore A Falco
Comment Link Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00 posted by Lucia Simion
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