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The New Elevated Station
South Pole Station - Antarctica

The New Elevated Station, as seen from ARO. The silver structure on the left is colloquially known as "the Beer Can", and contains stairs and a cargo elevator connecting the new, elevated station to a tunnel leading to the Arches. The cargo elevator is not rated for use by personnel because the temperature inside the Beer Can is low enough to prevent the normal safety mechanisms from working properly.

The temperature in underground portions of the station is about -50 C all year round, and being connected to these portions the temperature in the Beer Can is similar.

These stairs are infamous, because in addition to their length (connecting the station not only to ground level, but down below that), but with the heavy boots in use, especially for new arrivals not yet used to the altitude (9300 feet, but due to a thinner atmosphere at the Poles, the equivalent of about 10,500 feet at sea level) this climb is rather tiring.

Nov 2007

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This picture published courtesy of Alan Light - This picture is in the public domain.
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