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Norwegian-American Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica

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Plateau Station

by zopeadm last modified 2008-08-21 09:32

The Norwegian-US Traverse team arrived at historic Plateau Station on 22 Dec 2007, which is just a little more than halfway on their journey to the South Pole.

The site of an abandoned U.S. science camp that was operated year-round from 1966-69, Plateau Station has not been occupied or visited by any US field team since then.  With only approximately 2 cm water equivalent snow accumulation per year, the tall meteorological tower remains a prominent feature, standing solidly above six smaller towers and the top of a flag mast. Just visible above snow level was the clear dome of the aurora tower and the top of a smokestack of the old main station. The group carefully entered this polar museum through a plywood hatch on near the clear dome, and climbed down into the -51.3 oC chill of the station.

Except for peeling paint on the ceiling and some walls, the station appeared much as it must have when the last U.S. 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.  Careful not to disturb the site, the group took away only photos, and left only their NOR-USA expedition holiday photo. However, each will always cherish the memories of this rare opportunity to witness an element of polar history.

Read more about the history of Plateau Station under the 'historical traverses' section of this website.  Also, now available are the Polar-Palooza podcasts of preparations for the traverse and the early stages of the traverse at:


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