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Chronicles from Concordia

Stretching our legs

22 Feb 2018, 14:48 UTC
Stretching our legs
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A lovely summer’s day. Credit: ESA/IPEV/PNRA-C. Dangoisse
During the summer, the main limiting factor to exploring the grounds, apart from finding time, is acclimatization to the altitude. Our polar suits allow us to stay outdoors for extended periods, despite the cold.
I first enjoy the thrill of getting a bird’s eye view of Concordia station by climbing the “American tower”, a 45-metre metal structure about half a kilometre away from the station, and on which several weather instruments have been fastened at various heights.
The view from above is absolutely wonderful and awe-inspiring. It is as though you were standing above a sea of ice, with wave upon wave rippling to the horizon. When you turn your back to the station, the panoramic view is that of a vast expanse of cold whiteness, undisturbed by any sign of life whatsoever, void of anything other than snow…. The sight of such endless ice almost feels crushing.
The caterpillar truck. Credit: ESA/IPEV/PNRA-C. Dangoisse
My next trip is to a weather station located approximately 25 kilometres from Concordia. There are six of us in the caterpillar truck. We have all eagerly jumped at the chance to venture a little further out on the ...

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