1702 people have wintered over at least once at the South Pole from 1957 through 2023. Since some of these folks wintered more than once, there actually have been a total of 2124 winterover positions. And if you haven't found the winterover lists yet, they are included, along with photos and other information as available, in the timeline entries for each year through 2022 at this point. Actually I should also say that there is a complete database spreadsheet, with winterover numbers, updated to date, on this web site, slightly hidden to protect the list of names from spammers. Access is available to Polies upon request. Although it is obvious that I've made errors and omissions in the past, I'm pretty confident that the basic list of folks is complete and accurate, if only because it has been more than 16 years since someone wrote me claiming I'd left someone out :) Suggestions/corrections...please let me know!
In 2023 there are 43 NPX winterovers...about average since construction completion of the elevated station, and the group includes 6 women and 37 men. In 1998-99, when construction began on the first phase of the new station (the fuel arch in the summer and the heavy shop in summer/winter)...there were 41 winterovers...before that there were never more than 28 winterovers. The largest crowd ever was my 2005 winter when we had 86 folks, including 24 women! In the old days, the first three years with women (1979-81) the crews included only one woman--in hindsight that experiment was probably not the best idea.
Seven of the 2023 winterovers have previously wintered at least once...a drop from 2022 when there were 12 repeaters among the 44 winterovers. The 2023 people with multiple winters include food services supervisor Zeke Mills and Jonathon Weise with 3 winters, as well as satcom engineer Ryan Gutierrez, power plant lead mechanic Seva Kotlyar, supply tech Tammy McDermott, SPT grantee Cal Neske, and network engineer Christian Rahl with 2 winters.
2023 winterover nationalities...there are three new countries represented this year--IceCube observer Hrvoje Dujmovic is from Croatia, heavy equipment operator Federico Piola is from Argentina, and Naweed Hashimi is of Afghan heritage. Power plant mechanic Seva Kotyar from Russia has returned for his second winter in a row, and IceCube grantee Marc Jacquart is the second winterover from Switzerland...the first was 2003 maintenance scheduler Monique Gerbex who was born in Switzerland and later lived in Vermont. Supply technician Jaden Pan was born and raised in Toronto. And...Michelle Endo is the first woman winterover with Japanese heritage...there have now been five Japanese winterovers (list).
2022 international stuff...both IceCube winterovers Mareno Baricevic (from Italy) and Celas Marie-Sainte (from France) have previously wintered at the Italian/French station Concordia located at Dome C...a bit higher up than Pole at 10,607 feet/3,233 meters altitude.
winterover Thomas Leps...who actually didn't get it 100 % finished until just before he left in late January. Details and photos!
In the 2020 winter there was a new record regarding the winter site manager position. Previously 3 people have held that job twice--Bill Henriksen in 2003 and 2005, Katie Hess in 2008 and 2012, and Wayne White in 2017 and 2019. But for 2020 Wayne has returned for his third time as manager...and in two consecutive years (he did take some time away during the summer). Bill and Katie each wintered 3 times, but their first winters were in other positions.
Above, the 2022 Pole marker unveiled on New Years Day...designed by BICEP Array winterover Brandon
Amat and amazingly fabricated by Dave Pernic...not his first marker fabrication! More information!
During the Dome era, many of the managers had previously wintered in another position--the first of these being Tom Plyler who was the power plant mechanic in 1975 and manager in 1981. Now, three managers to date have subsequently returned to winter again in another position: Don McCreight was the manager in 1997--he returned in 2015 to winter as carpenter foreman (and has been back for some other summers as well). Gary Freeman was manager in 1992 and returned as SEH coordinator in 1995. And Bill Spindler, who was manager in 1977, returned to winter in 2005 as Title II inspector and in 2008 as a project engineer--with a gap of 28 years between his 1977 and 2005 winters. That is not an overall Antarctic record; Australian Brian Jury wintered at Mawson in 2017, 31 years before that he wintered at Casey. I'd like to think THAT is the record.
The 2021 Pole marker was designed by 2020 South Pole Telescope astronomer
Geoffrey Chen, who was still on station for the New Years Day unveiling. It was
fabricated by machinist Cal Neske, and it pays tribute to previous machinist Steele
Diggles who passed away at home in Tasmania in July. As of late January, he had
been scheduled to winter again in 2020. Here's a look at the marker, its fabrication,
and the ceremony.
During the Navy days, none of the OIC's ever wintered more than once at Pole in any capacity, although several wintered elsewhere--including LT Jack Tuck who along with Paul Siple had wintered at McMurdo in 1956 before their 1957 Pole winter.
This is the amazing unique marker unveiled on 1 January 2020...designed by
2019 winterover Luis Gonzalez...who was actually around to unveil it! The
marker was constructed by that creative Aussie machinist Steele Diggles.
News for the ages as it were, although I must note that due to that nasty pandemic that has been going around for 3 years now, older folks have at times been prevented from wintering due to their greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Anyway, 2018 winterover physician Malcolm Arnold is the oldest person to winter to date. He had that record in 2008 when he was 65 at the end of the winter...so ten years on he was 75 at the beginning of the winter (in 2019 he was at Palmer for the winter). He beat out 2011 physician Jim Borden who turned 74 in July of his winter. For the women, things are a bit more complicated. 2011 greenhouse tech Susan MacGregor (now Susan Batenhorst) had her 62nd birthday in mid-May of her winter (Susan was back at Pole for the 2019-20 summer). Dr. Betty Carlisle had her 63rd birthday after her 2001 winter ended, so she was 6 months older than Susan. But...Betty wasn't around for the entire winter, she showed up in April 2001 on the medevac that took out Dr. Ron Shemenski. So Susan is the oldest woman to spend an ENTIRE winter at Pole...as well as the oldest woman 300 club initiate. As for the youngest Polie winterovers, we had at least one in 2008: carpenter Andy Titterington and comms tech Shaun Meehan, were age 18 when they showed up at the beginning of the summer. Shaun turned 19 on 14 December, and Andy turned 19 a month later on 13 January, making Andy the youngest w/o Polie, beating out Larry Duckett, the 1975 winter cook, who was 19 when he showed up at the beginning of the 74-75 summer, and Eric Siefka, who was also 19 when he wintered in 1982. Oh, for 1 day there were 3 19-year-old w/o's on station, but UT Aditya Tata turned 20 on 14 January 2008. As for the youngest woman to winter..still researching that. Remember that all of these statistics are strictly voluntary...but one of the 2018 women was 22.
In 2007, Robert Schwarz alone held the record for six winters. But he wasn't back until 2011, so Johan Booth, Barry Horbal and Steffen Richter caught up with him in 2008, and Johan and Steff later passed him up. In 2013 Robert caught up with them, so the three of them (Johan, Steffen and Robert) all had 9 winters. In 2014, Robert and Johan were back again for winter #10. They were both back in 2015 for winter #11...and in 2016 for #12. Robert continued through 2019 and now has the record 15 winters, while Johan is back in 2020 for his 14th.
Here's the marker that was revealed on 1 January 2019. It was both designed and
created by winterover machinist Steele Diggles. More information!
Behind Robert and Johan, Steffen Richter has 9 winters, and Barry Horbal and Dana Hrubes have 7. Two people have six winters: Bill Johnson as of 2020 and Dennis Calhoun in 2019; eight people have five winters: Tommy Barker, Tracy Blair, Steele Diggles, Heidi Lim, Rod Jensen, Lester Lemon, Clint Perrone, and Jake Speed (Joseph Gibbons). Jake was the first to reach this milestone. (He was back at Pole for awhile in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 summers, but he'd been spending some of the "off seasons" at Summit and/or with wife Kath) and after what happened to him in Greenland in 2009 he had to recover from losing some limbs at Summit.
Eleven people have wintered a total of 4 times. This group includes Allan Day, Kaycee Flaugher, Weeks Heist, Travis Kamiya, Drew Logan, Paul Lux, Jason McDonald, Sue O'Reilly, Jack Sharp, Kevin Shea, and Kim Williams.
This marker was revealed on 1 January 2018. It was a creation of IceCube winterover
Martin Wolf, BICEP3 winterover Grant Hall...and of course machinist Matt Krahn.
More photos and details...
With 3 winters, there now are 58 people, including 2023 winterovers Zeke Mills and Jonathon Weise. The full list: Derek Aboltins, Brien Barnett, Dave Benson, Kevin Berck, Hans Boenish, Rhys Boulton, Yubecca Bragg, Zane Burnette, Betty Carlisle, Robert (Gumby) Carlson, Clayton Cornia, Jeff De Rosa, Ethan Dicks, Nate Dyer, Terry Eddington, Tom Edwards, Lis Fano/Grillo, Ethan Good, John Hammon, Slay Harwell, Bill Henriksen, Katie Hess, Kitt Hughes, Katy Jensen/McNitt, Tim Korcal, Matthew Krahn, Ricardo Lopez, Erik Lund, Tim Markle, Janice Martin, Jon Martin, Sheri McKeen/Mason, Jason Medley, Jed Miller, Joshua Neff, Zeke Mills, Matt Newcomb, Jon Olander, Lee Parker, John Parlin, David Pernic, Kris Perry, Michael Rehm, John Richard, Elizabeth Rose, Eric Sandberg, Derek Sargent, Neal Scheibe, Mike Scholz, Rob Shaw, Will Silva, Paul Smith, Jason Spann, Bill Spindler, Leah Webster, Jonathon Weise, Noah White, and Wayne White. 179 people have wintered twice.
In 2019 Robert Schwarz was in his ninth consecutive winter, now well ahead of Jake Speed's five consecutive winters in 2000-2004. People with 4 consecutive winters include Kimberly Williams as of 2018, Kaycee Flaugher as of 2016, Heidi Lim and Kevin Shea as of 2008, and Allan Day and Barry Horbal as of 2006. The group with three consecutive winters now includes Brien Barnett, Johan Booth, Rhys Boulton, Clayton Cornia, Lester Lemon, Ricardo Lopez, Jason Medley, Sue O'Reilly, Michael Rehm, Steffen Richter, and Mike Scholz. No one else has more than two consecutive winters.
Here's the marker which was unveiled on 1 January 2017...a rather amazing bit of
machining, 3D assembly, and etching art. It was designed by fire tech Warren Shipley
and created by machinist Matthew Krahn (info and photos).
In the new station era, there were only 43 people wintering in 2009--as construction on the new station was winding down. And there weren't any records in 2009...except perhaps that there were only 4 returning winterovers--an unusually low number for recent times. That low number is not at all unusual--in the old days there weren't many returnees--in my first 1977 winter we were all FNG's. All of the returning 2009 winterovers (Todd Adams, Weeks Heist, Lance Roth and Jack Sharp) were around with me in 2008 for their first winter.
This has brought up the question--how many women have wintered? Well, thanks to some male and female Pole Souls and Polies who helped me clear up my questions about ambiguous names, as of 2021, the total is 248. This includes one person, Heidi Lim (now married and named Heidi Rehm) with 5 winters, three--Sue O'Reilly, Kaycee Flaugher, and Kimberly Williams--with 4 winters, 12 with 3 winters, 29 with 2 winters, and 203 with one. The first woman was Michele Raney, the doctor in 1979, and the second was Martha Kane Savage, the cosray observer in 1980--both of whom are great people and good friends. Initially this was considered an "experiment" and there were only one or two women at Pole during the winter. Thankfully the powers-that-be decided to quit experimenting a few years later and get with the times.
The marker unveiled on 1 January 2016...a spinning world globe with the winterovers
engraved on the equator (!). This marker was both designed and created by the 2015
machinist Anton Brown. (info and photos).
The first woman to winter at all 3 of the current US stations was Carol Crossland...she wintered first at McMurdo in 1991, then (after a few summers here and there) at Pole in 1998 and Palmer Station in 1999. As for the second woman to do so (that I know about), she's Wendy Beeler, who wintered at Palmer in 2006, Pole in 1999, and McMurdo in 1992 and 1998. Yubecca Bragg completed the hat trick at McMurdo in 2008. More recently, Rachel Javorsek finished a 2012 winter at Palmer Station...she wintered at Pole in 2011 and at McM in 2008. And the newest addition to this list is Clair Von Handorf, who was at Pole in 2014 after wintering at McM in 2009 and at Palmer in 2010, 2011, and 2012. As for the men...it turns out there have been a number of them. The first of these was cook Harvey High, who wintered at all 3 stations with the Navy--1963 at McMurdo, 1966 at Pole, and 1970 at Palmer. Harvey was scheduled to winter at Pole with H&N in 1979 but he was medevaced with pancreatitis before station closing...and in 1982, while working as second mate on the Hero, he fell to his death from the ship to the drydock floor while the ship was in drydock in Talcahuano, Chile. Oh, the most recent addition to this list is satcom engineer Mike Rice, who wintered at Palmer for the 2018 winter after his most recent Pole winter in 2017. Interestingly, Mike showed up at Palmer along with FOUR other 2017 Pole winterovers! Additionally (in no particular order as I don't have all the data) we have at least Robert (Gumby) Carlson, Larry Mjolsness, Jim "Thumper" Porter, Al O'Kelly, Paul Lux, Jordan Dickens, Jack Anderson, Brad Kuehn, Paul Daniels, Jed Miller, Damien Henning, Bob DeValentino, Zachary Morgan...I understand at least 39 folks may have wintered at all of the 3 current stations so I've obviously missed a few.
The marker unveiled on 1 January 2015 was the biggest ever...it featured not only
rotation, but also (for the first time) some glass! It was designed and created by
2014 machinist Matt Krahn (details and more photos).
Another interesting overall program statistic...as of the 2022-23 summer season there was only one person on the ice for their 44th consecutive season...Rob Robbins! Jules Uberuaga, who was on the ice for 38 consecutive seasons through 2016-17, stayed home in 2017-18. For the past two seasons she'd been working as a grantee equipment operator for NASA's LDB project...but that was cut back this year, so she stayed home in Idaho (and complained that there wasn't enough snow for skiing). Jules did her first season in 1979-80 as a GFA at Pole. She was interviewed by several TV stations in September 2012 before heading south for her 34th season...as of now, this YouTube interview with Boise's KNIN is the only one still out there. Rob's work involves diving...despite global warming, fortunately there is not much call for that specialty at Pole--yet. But Rob's long history in the program was noted in this November 2015 Antarctic Sun article.
On 1 January 2014 the latest and greatest Pole marker (above) was unveiled. It was
designed by Dana Hrubes and created by machinist Steele Diggles...(more photos and
As for family members wintering, the most recent new statistic is from 2017 when two twin brothers, Jack and Ryan Clifford wintered together, both working in IT. The first two family members to winter at Pole (not in the same year) were brothers and scientists Henn Oona in 1964 and Hain Oona in 1968 (as of February 2012, Henn (Hank) and Hain were both still working at Los Alamos National Laboratory). Their family emigrated to the US from Estonia when they were young boys...so it also seems that Henn and Hain are the only two Estonian-born folks to winter. The second two brothers to winter were Bill Smythe (UCLA gravity, 1975) and brother Chuck (NOAA, 1979). There have since then been several married couples (as well as a few couples who met at Pole and got married later), as well as the father-son team of computer tech Cleve Cleavelin and his son Chris who wintered together in 1997.
On New Years Day 2013, the marker which was both designed and created by 2012
machinist Derek Aboltins was revealed...featuring the alignment of the Sun, Moon,
planets, and the Southern Cross as located in the skies on 1 January. Here are more
pictures of the marker and the unveiling ceremony.
2022 winterovers with nationalities other than American this year--the two IceCube grantees mentioned above--Mareno Baricevic (from Italy) and Celas Marie-Sainte (from France), Kiwi folks Sarah Boukoms--safety technician with dual citizenship and heavy equipment tech Anthony Barge who is employed by NZ equipment dealer Terra Cat, satcom engineer Hector Plaza--the first winterover from Colombia, power plant lead Seva Kotlyar who was born in Russia, and sous chef Niko Winegarner from Sweden. Note that the nationalities in these statistics include people who were originally from these countries or people with dual citizenship...and the nationality data I have is only from published information or what has been shared with me.
In 2016, the PM foreman Alex Teixeira was originally from Uruguay--the first from that nation. 2015 saw the first winterover Thai--met person Supria Calvert-Reisner--as well as the first Iraqi--facilities engineer Nizar Hashemi. In 2014, IceCuber Dag Larsen was the first Norwegian to winter--rather surprising considering that the first five Polie visitors who returned home to tell the tale were Norwegians. In 2013, Ice Cube team member Felipe Pedreros Bustos was the first Chilean to winter at Pole, something a bit surprising given Chile's extensive involvement in the Antarctic over the years. And Blaise Kuo Tiong, the other IceCuber, was born in Manila--his family relocated from the Philippines to Los Angeles when he was nine. He's the second Filipino to winter...the first was Cesar Ambalada who wintered in 1966 as a US Navy EM1--electricians mate first class--quite impressive for the time, as few Filipinos in the Navy back then had technical rating jobs such as this. And in 2012, plumber Jean-Pierre (JP) Brunel, was the first Québécois to winter. JP grew up in Québec speaking only French until he moved to Colorado later in his adult life.
2012 brought the the third person from Spain to winter--Carlos Pobes was one of the two IceCube scientists. The first Spaniard to winter was US Weather Bureau meteorologist Luis Aldaz who wintered twice, as station science leader, in 1962 and 1965. The second was Francisco Navarro, a 1984 UCLA geophysics scientist.
1 January 2012...midway between the Amundsen and Scott centenary commemorations, yet
another fantastic Pole marker was unveiled. And again, it had moving parts, as well as that
enigmatic abbreviation "LGN" which has appeared on many of these markers. Steele Diggles,
the machinist from Australia, created it, and, well, check out more photos of the marker and
The first Japanese-American to winter was US Weather Bureau researcher Fred Mayeda in 1959...he'd become an American citizen. The first Japanese citizen showed up to winter a year later in 1960--Dr. Masakiyo (Henry) Morozumi who was studying auroras with the Arctic Institute of North America--he used to have a web site but he is still out there . Three more people wintered who were Japanese citizens or otherwise at the time--UCLA gravity researcher Tadashi Yogi in 1977, IceCuber Yuya Makino in 2020, and Michelle Endo in 2023 who was born of Chinese and Japanese parents, lived in Japan for awhile, and eventually chose American citizenship (Japanese Polies). The first and only Mexican-American was Navy Seabee CMH2 (heavy construction mechanic second class) Jose Gomez in 1961...the first African-American was almost certainly Navy RM2 (radioman second class) Roderick H. (Henri) Miles in 1969 (another African-American had wintered at Byrd in 1961).
The first Canadian to winter was 1973 Navy mechanic Gerald Davis who was originally from Canada. There have been a total of 18 folks with Canadian heritage, including 3 winter site managers. Here's the list of all Canadians.
The first Russian (Soviet) exchange scientist was Peter Astakhov in 1967; he was followed 10 years later by Alex Zaitsev in 1977. A year later in 1978, Alex was followed up by Rurik M. Galkin in 1978, and Yuri Latov wintered in 1982. From the post-Soviet era, Russian Nikolai Makarov wintered in 1995, Ukrainian Nick (Nicolai) Starinski wintered in 1999, and most recently, Seva Kotlyar is wintering in 2022 as the power plant lead.
The first Kiwi men were met observers Barry Porter and Bernie Maguire in 1976, and the first NZ women were carpenters Kate Batten and Vicky Ward in 2005 (the complete list of 27 New Zealanders).
The first Australian was Barry Woodberry who came down with the US National Bureau of Standards in 1966. The second Aussie is also notable--Graeme Currie wintered in 1981 (he wintered eleven times at various Australian and other stations)...the first Australian woman was AST/RO observer Jules Harnett in 2004. There have been at least 19 so far who have wintered, most recently including 2021 SPT researcher Matthew Young, 2020 SPT astronomer Geoffrey Chen, as well as 2019 machinist Steele Diggles and power plant mechanic Dennis Calhoun, who is a transplanted US-->Australian citizen (the list of Australians).
On New Years Day 2011, this amazing marker made its appearance! The first with a finished
wood base and moving parts! An excellent South Pole marker for the centennial year of the
first visits to this place, long before there was a permanent station! This marker was designed
during the 2010 winter by David Holmes, and created by machinist Derek Aboltins. Here is the
rest of the story about the marker and the installation ceremony.
Speaking of winterovers from Sweden, there now are five--in 2022 sous chef Niko Winegarner is wintering. In 2019 materials person Viktor Barricklow returned (he also wintered in 2017 and has dual Swedish/US citizenship). SPT observer Daniel Michalik, with dual Swedish/German citizenship, wintered in 2017. Earlier, there were IceCube guy Sven Lidström; he wintered in 2007 and was back for 2012 (he also spent several summers at Pole and is currently working for Norway's Antarctic program), and cosray observer Lars Andersson in 1966.
From a bit south of Sweden in the Low Countries, there have been two Belgians--Freija Descamps, one of the 2011 IceCube observers, and Jean-Marie Moreau, the 1990 doctor. And Erik Verhagen, with IceCube in 2009, was the first Netherlands citizen to winter.
Noah White, radioman/comms guy, wintered three times in 1967, 1970, and 1979. He's the only person to winter both at the original station (Old Pole) and under the dome, the only person to winter both as a Navy man and a civilian, and the first person to winter three times. Yes, I've met him, he was a good guy, sadly, he passed away in early 2019.
1995 and 1996 were interesting winters...1995 was the last year WITH a scheduled midwinter airdrop and WITHOUT internet. They also were the first years when anyone wintered consecutively--Australian astronomer James (Jamie) Lloyd and NOAA science tech Jeff Otten wintered in both 1995 and 1996.
Back to nationalities...it now seems that the first German to winter did so back in the real old days of 1972--gravity geophysicist and German citizen Walter Zürn, who was spending time at UCLA after graduation from Stuttgart. Next was 1983 w/o geophysicist Hans-Albert Dahlheim, who was studying the gravitational pull of the Moon (and won the Round the World Race). Matthias Rumitz (AST/RO) and Robert Schwarz (AMANDA) were next, in 1997. By now there are twenty total...here is the list of Germans. As for the French, probably the title for the first man goes to the 2006 BICEP researcher Denis Barkats, and 2009 IceCube w/o Camille Parisel is the first woman--she previously spent 14 months at Dumont d'Urville through the 2001 winter. And in 2022, IceCube grantee Celas Marie-Sainte, is also from France. There have been three Italians--Moreno Baricevic, one of the 2022 IceCube grantees; the 2018 WSM Marco Tortonese, who also wintered in 2011 as a science tech; and the first Italian was Paolo Calisse, the 2003 VIPER/AASTO winterover. 2010 (and 2011 and 2012) brought Ricardo Lopez, the first Polie originally from the Dominican Republic, and 2005 featured the first Jamaican, fellow winterover and HR person Kurt Montas.
This unique 2010 marker features the South Pole Telescope along with 43 IceCube DOMs,
one for each of the 2009 wo's.It was designed and fabricated by the 2009 SCOARA machinist
Steele Diggles. More information and photos by Forest Banks, including the placement ceremony
on New Years Day...
Laser scientist Ashraf El-Dakrouri, who wintered in 2000, was the first Egyptian (and the first person from any Arab or Muslim nation) to winter at Pole (profile article from the 16 January 2000 Antarctic Sun). Hein Van Bui, the 1988 w/o computer tech, was the first person from Vietnam to winter. He was followed by Hien Nguyen, the 1994 SPIREX researcher/SSL; and Xuan Ta, the 2004 Title II inspector. There have been four Chinese (PRC) citizens to winter: AST/RO astronomer Xiaolei Zhang (1998), AMANDA researcher Xinhua Bai (1999),Kecheng Xiao (AST/RO, 2002), and electrician Hung So (2010).
We've had four people from India winter...the first was Roopesh Ojha, a citizen of the Republic of India who wintered with CARA/ASTRO in 1999. Also there with him that year was science tech Reza Mossadeque (of Indian and Bangladeshi origin, although he was an American citizen when he wintered). Next was 2007 w/o Karthik Soundarapandian, another India citizen, who wintered and is currently working with IceCube. More recently, Aman Chokshi wintered in 2022 with SPT.
From the UK I believe we have had fifteen winterovers (which includes a couple of folks with dual NZ/British citizenship), the most recent one wintered in 2021--IceCube researcher Joshua Veitch-Michaelis (list of British citizens). And from an emerald island next to the UK it seems 2010 winter site manager Mel MacMahon claims both Irish and Canadian heritage, and 1990 CUSP associate Richard Collins was an Irish citizen.
From elsewhere in Europe, note that 2012 cook Kate McGrew was the first Pole to winter at Pole (!) From a bit south of there, Monique Gerbex, the 2003 work order planner, hailed from Switzerland. Speaking of Switzerland, 2023 IceCube winterover Marc Jacquart also hails from there...and not winterover statistics but important to me...one of the GFAs who was with us in 1976-77, the late Dave Pluth, turned up at our 2007 Pole Soul reunion in Boulder to tell us that he'd become a Swiss citizen. Finally, back in the US of A (but not the 50 states), electrician Osvaldo Torres, who wintered in 2004, is from Puerto Rico.
The 1 January 2009 marker seen here was designed and created by the 2008 w/o
SCOARA machinist Dave Postler This photo is by Reinhart Piuk. More on the
marker and the New Years Day ceremony...
Some station management statistics (these refer to the winter site manager, not the area manager/resident manager position, which was created for the first time for the 1977-78 summer). The year before then, the station manager had, shall I say (since it was I ;-), a bit more to do during the summer: For the 2005 winter--Bill Henriksen was the first person to return for the second time as manager--in 2003 he had the same job (his first winter was as Title II inspector in 2000). In 2006 through 2018 he wintered in McMurdo as the NSF manager. Katie Hess, the 2008 manager, returned to do that again in 2012. Janet Phillips in 1994 was the first female manager. After the McMurdo winfly, all 3 US stations had female management for the first time--Karen Schwall at McM and Ann Peoples at Palmer as well as Janet (her article about the experience). Oh, Janet went on to manage Palmer Station in 1996. Speaking of Palmer Station...AFAIK the record of the most times as winter site manager anywhere goes to Ken Keenan...his first winter was at Pole with me in 2005, but subsequently he's been the Palmer winter site manager nine times between 2009 and 2022.
Three managers during the civilian era were last-minute replacements--Dan Morton in 1976, Rich Wiik in 1983, and Dennis O'Neill in 1991. Rich and Dennis had been at Pole, scheduled to winter in other positions, but Dan had NOT worked at Pole and was not originally scheduled to winter until 1977. All 3 guys are friends of mine and did well.
Here's the marker placed on 1 January 2008, designed by 2007 w/o facilities engineer
Laura Rip...and created by SCOARA machinist Derek Aboltins. Photo courtesy Glenn
Grant (whom I finally got to meet in person!). More information about the marker and
photos of the ceremony are here.
Last but not least, some statistics that had nothing to do with Pole until 2014. For a number of years since 2004, power plant mechanic Rocky (Gerald or Gerry) Ness held the all-time record for 15 Antarctic winters--all at Palmer and McMurdo. But in 2014 that record was broken by two people. At McMurdo, George Lampman had his sixteenth CONSECUTIVE winter...all of them at McMurdo, more recently as operations supervisor. He was documented in the film Antarctica: A Year On Ice. And at Pole, Johan Booth also had his 16th winter in 2016, none of which have been at McMurdo. Both George and Johan had their 17th winters in 2015. Johan had his 18th winter in 2016. but George did not. As of 2016 the undisputed record holder for women was Wendy Kober who had her 15th winter that year. Previously in 2015 Wendy had tied Angela Garner at 14 winters. Angela wintered again in 2017, so the two women Wendy and Angela are still tied at 15 winters.
Back to the men...the person with the most total Antarctic winters is...Rex Cotten! He is wintering at McMurdo in 2023--his 23rd winter, again monitoring the NASA McMurdo Ground Station, a 10-meter antenna which monitors and downloads data from polar-orbiting science satellites...a mission which has gotten much more useful with the availability of the new internet earth station at McMurdo (more project info from the NSF Science Planning Summary). All of his winters are consecutive (I think). At one time, he and the late Johan Booth (alas, Johan passed away from cancer on 29 June 2022 obituary) were tied for 20 winters. Johan wintered six times at Palmer between 1994 and 2004, and 14 times at Pole between 1995 and 2020. The twists...Rex's winters have all been at McMurdo, while all of Johan's winters have been at Palmer and Pole. All of course in Antarctica, and of course all of Rex's winters have been south of the Antarctic Circle.
Yes, I know, there must be more vital stats--send em to me!!
The 2007 Pole marker (Antarctic photo library, photo by Glenn Grant). The marker was
designed by 2006 (and 2005 :) AND 2004 w/o electrician Clayton Cornia. Yes...once
again, each dimple represents one of the 64 winterovers.
Okay...as a bit of trivia I must add this bit of information about the 1997 Pole marker, as I get asked about this now and then. A summer visitor acquired a copy of it and later tried to sell it...on an episode of Pawn Stars first aired by the History Channel in December 2009. The episode gets aired now and again more recently, and it's also available online...hence these details.
This was the first Pole marker I was ever aware of...some USGS folks showed up to install it in November 1976 to mark the American centennial. Based on the dates, I assumed that they'd planned to show up with it a year earlier, but in 1975-76 flights and visits were severely curtailed because of the 3 LC-130's that had crashed at Dome C. Oh, this marker was stolen less than a day later (more info from my 1976-77 winterover pages).
Above...an image of the very first (and long-lost) South Pole marker, manufactured in Washington DC and hand-carried to the station during the 1959-60 season. It does not say "90º South" as it was not placed at the Pole, but inside the original station, where it presumably still is today. As with the one at left, multiple copies of it have been in play-- most recently, it was up on eBay in January 2016 (it didn't sell). Here's the rest of that story.
Thanks to Katy Jensen, who originally crunched the data to produce many of the statistics you see here. Credits for the photos at the top of the page--the group in the left photo is the 1957 team, note Paul Siple in the back row (caption and more information); and the motley crew in the right photo is, of course, us 1977 Pole Souls :). The panorama below is the 2004 w/o picture, by Glen Kinoshita.
Another disclaimer...again the nationality statistics seen here are strictly voluntary or from officially published information and include folks who were born and/or are or were citizens of the indicated countries.