We celebrated New Years (not that we saw midnight) last evening with a pizza party! Yes, the talented few of us (not me) created some fabulous pizzas last evening, and even managed a dessert pizza. We played a the game “Pass the Pigs” (formerly known as Pig Out) and finished off the excitement with a Russian card game courtesy of Alex. Our final act was to put positive thought out into the universe to stop or at least slow down the katabatics which were kata-battering us. Alas, we woke to continued kata-snowblasting and had another tentish day allowing for personal organization in hopes of a coming pullout that starts the logistical effort to return G-058 to McMurdo. The fly in the ointment is that we need to groom the runway for a bigger plane, and it is a challenge with high winds. Nonetheless, we set about today around noon to dig out tents, which actually means digging out the tent stakes and guys that have been drifted in and covered over with fairly hard sastrugi.
The winds seem to be diminishing, which sent John out to start our grooming project (not to be confused with personal grooming). Please cross those fingers to ensure abating winds and successful grooming. If all goes well we may be able to begin our homeward journey tomorrow.
Just because I enjoy grooming, snow-runway grooming that is, the G-058 2013-14 standing joke is that I will be appointed to the position of full-time groomer at CTAM. Admittedly the Austral Winter would be a slow time, which would provide time to clean flags, but the summers would be wonderful. In a Star Trekesque exchange last night I told Jim Karner, “Dammit, Jim! I am a groomer, not a pizza chef”.
Everyone is well and grateful for the success of the season, but we cannot help but miss home. We are taking the first step toward home by getting the runway in shape, as the rest is beyond our control.
On behalf of G-058 we send best regards to all those not grooming a runway this afternoon. As you slumber we will be creating a 5000′ snow-sculpture that is both visually pleasing and practical.
-posted by Steve CGG (CTAM groomer-guy)