A few posts ago I updated you on end of season plans. I had the opportunity to talk to both Jim and John extensively last night, and while the conversation was wide-ranging (everything from who’s going to win the football games tonight to where we’re staying at March’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference), here’s the key new point. The team is indeed going to try and pull out from Miller Range via the Basler aircraft, but they’re doing so without staging through CTAM as an intermediate step. It’ll take two or three very full days to get this done, and the team has to spend a lot of hours immediately grooming a skiway at their Miller Range campsite; but it should make the transition a little faster than I described earlier.
One other note with a humorous slant. Right now the initial plan is for Jani, Barb, Manavi and Morgan to be the first to fly home. For obvious reasons, they view this as a product of a rather obvious gender bias. Rumor has it they are considering a protest of some kind.
Now I won’t second guess the field team leader’s decisions (I’m 13,000 km away). Let’s just say there is always a LOT more to the story. Every year we try to have about have the party go home early and the other stay out to the end, so the cargo train has folks on both ends, pushing and pulling in a figurative sense. And we like to have ANSMET vets on both ends as well who know how to deal with things. Then there’s what’s waiting back in the civilized world; Most of the team is volunteers who need to get back to the real lives they put on hold for two months or more. Barb and Jani, for example, are both senior scientists that have been out in the field since early December, and have a huge backlog of space stuff to deal with. Manavi left her job in Hawai’i andhas a new job waiting for her at U of Chicago she needs to start, Morgan is a newlywed with a husband waiting and needs to write a dissertation (maybe not in that order)…… there are lots of reasons behind the decisions on who goes back to civilization first, and John and Jim haven’t been seriously gender-biased in my 30 years of experience with them both.
My only comment is this; Are they aware they just set up the absolutely perfect Antarctic horror movie scenario? C’mon, it’s too good to be just chance…….
“You women go ahead first; us men will stay back here and take care of things…….”
-posted by rph