Nothing like running amok buck ass naked on the polar plateau to start the winter season
At most work places you play baseball, have picnics, or perhaps volunteers for Habitat for Humanity to build camaraderie with your co-workers. Here at the South Pole we wait until it’s 100 below zero and take off all our clothes then run around the South Pole marker.
There are some rules to this running amok:
- The most important rules are: Be safe, be safe, be safe and be courteous.
Then you do the following:
- Wait till the galley scroll shows a 100 below, or until the awesome folks in the Meteorology department announce that it is officially 100 below.
- Choose the few pieces of clothing acceptable for the 300 Club: hats, gloves, gaiter, boots. Some folks wear nothing but boots. Others folks wear hats, gloves, and boots. It’s all preference.
- Take off all your clothes and sit in the sauna until it reaches 200 degrees.
- Exit the sauna, go down a flight of stairs in the beercan, go out the door onto the polar plateau, and walk to the South Pole marker. Here you can take photos, enjoy the view (not of each other- that’s skeevy and rude), and then get back inside before you cool off too much.
VOILA! You are officially a member of the South Pole 300 Club!
Now you too can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next 8 months with all your co-workers -who saw you darting across the frozen tundra with all your naughty bits frosting over.
This year was a little different from my first 300 Club. My first 300 Club was with a very small crew of folks, it was pitch dark, and we agreed on one cameraman who we implicitly trusted. This year the sun is officially down, but it is still light outside. Light enough to see every one’s naughty bits. I am not shy- in fact, when I was a kid you would have to throw me on my back to get shoes on me. I like the entire spectrum of naked- in the right context. I wasn’t too keen on this year’s context. The crowd was epic and there was a lot of camera action happening, so I was going to wait and hope it got cold enough to do it later in the season. (Translation: when it was dark and not so many people had their cameras going)
Two hours after the first 300 Club run I was sitting in the galley and my buddy walked up and said:
“Are you ready”
“The 300 Club. Just us.”
I am such a follower.
Off we went to do the 300 Club -just the two of us. It was awesome. We left the sauna and strolled to the pole like we were on a garden tour: admiring the moon, admiring the last remnants of the sunset, and having this delicious, quiet, cold moment all to ourselves. After circling the pole we high fived, hugged, and then headed back into the station for a board game and tea.
Quite possibly the most gracious South Pole 300 Club ever.
p.s. No other photos will be forthcoming. If you need a visual- just imagine a daintier Michelin Tire Man trotting across the tundra. That would be me:)