Photographer's Note

This is the marker for the actual south pole. There is a ceremonial marker also. The ice on top of Antarctica is constantly moving a few meters per year, so a new marker is installed once a year. You can see a line of them just to the left of the flag going back into the distance. The station at the south pole was built and is operated by the US Antarctic Program (which is part of the National Science Foundation), so that is why it is a US flag being displayed. The two names on the sign are Roald Amundsen and Robert F. Scott, who were the leaders of the first two groups to make it to the south pole. Amundsen (a Norwegian) beat Scott (a Brit) by a month. Amundsen's group returned from the pole with no problems, while Scott's group all perished on the return trip.

The quote from Amundsen on the sign is:
"So we arrived and were able to plant our flag at the geographical South Pole."

while the quote from Scott on the sign is:
"The Pole. Yes, but under very different circumstances from those expected."

To answer the questions about how/why I was at the South Pole. I worked for the company that provided logistic support to the NSF for the scientific research being done there. Over the four years I worked for them I spent about one year in Antarctica, between five separate trips. Most of my time was spent in McMurdo Station (which was on the coast of Antarctica, south of New Zealand and about 800 miles north of the Pole), but I made two trips to the South Pole, one to Palmer Station and a month onboard a research ship, the Nathaniel B. Palmer.

I have another similar photo here

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Additional Photos by Alex Kiefer (kieferal) Silver Note Writer [C: 2 W: 0 N: 40] (279)
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