Winter escape

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Thinks it’s snowy and windy out today? Try living in Antarctica.

I’m a little obsessed with the place. Forget beaches and mai tais. My dream vacation is the reek of penguin poop and knowing I’m standing at the bottom of the planet.

I can’t really trace where my obsession began. Somewhere around the time I read The Mountains of Madness, perhaps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At_the_Mountains_of_Madness) or maybe after seeing The Thing for the first time.

I’ve mentioned Shackleton’s incredible voyage before, and his published diary. But even cheesy, fictional Antarctic stories are of interest to me. Anyone remember Eight Below (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXkoGlxVbLY) ? (In fairness, it was loosely based on a true story!)

Amherstonian David Christie has climbed the continent’s highest peak, Vinson Massif (http://www.cumberlandnewsnow.com/News/Local/2011-12-26/article-2848928/Christe-to-assault-another-of-the-seven-summits/1?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook), but other geographic highlights would have to include Lake Vostok  (http://www.cumberlandnewsnow.com/News/Local/2011-12-26/article-2848928/Christe-to-assault-another-of-the-seven-summits/1?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook) - not that you’ll see anything from the surface – and the South Pole. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Pole_Station).

The largest community is an American research base, McMurdo Station : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mcmurdo_station

It’s hardly an independent news source, but the U.S. government publishes an online newspaper, The Antarctic Sun (http://antarcticsun.usap.gov) if you’re interested. For would-be tourists – like I hope one day to be – you could also check out this: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Lonely-Planet-Antarctica-5th-Ed-Alexis-Averbuck/9781741794595-item.html?ikwid=lonely+planet+antarctica&ikwsec=Home

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  • Shackleton
    December 19, 2012 - 13:56

    Did you know: "The lowest natural temperature ever recorded at the surface of the Earth was −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F; 184.0 K) at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica, on July 21, 1983.[1] This is lower than the sublimation point of carbon dioxide (dry ice)." (wikipedia) I know, I was there. OR DID YOU KNOW: The Coldest place in Canada based on average yearly temperature is Eureka, Nunavut, where the temperature averages at -19.7C (-3.5F) for the year. However, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada was -63 °C (-81.4 F) in Snag, Yukon. (wikipedia) I wasn't there.