National Geographic : 1957 Jul
We Are Living at the South Pole Paul A. Siple Billowing Nylon, Whipped by 20-mile Winds, Sends a Skier Flying Across the Snow Parachute-riding ranked as No. 1 outdoor sport in the polar summer. Falls were frequent on the rough surface. Madey in Clark, New Jersey. It was a big feather in his cap, of course, and he has re mained one of our most regular contacts even though it's usually at least midnight by his time when we're talking with him. Apparently he comes home from school, goes straight to bed, then gets up later to man his amateur set. His brother John, I understand, is an ardent ham also. Wrong Number from the South Pole The funniest phone call was made by Willie Hough, our seismologist and ionosphere observer, soon after he came in by plane. He wanted to let Mrs. Hough know he had ar rived safely, but Jules somehow was given a wrong number on the phone patch. The man who answered at first accepted the reversed charges but hung up when Willie asked, "May I speak to my wife?" I wonder if he was able to make his friends believe that he had been awakened at 1:30 a.m. by a wrong number from the South Pole! I can certainly put up with all these mod ern conveniences. I'm nearly 30 years older than the Boy Scout named Siple who came down here with Admiral Byrd in 1928. I don't suppose I'm as rugged as I was then. Sitting here with electricity, oil-burner heat, and all the rest of it, I cannot help remem bering Admiral Byrd's terrible winter in Ant arctica in 1934.* All alone, he manned a little weather sta tion on the Ross Ice Shelf, 123 miles out from Little America toward the Pole. Carbon monoxide fumes from a faulty stove nearly killed him. For four months and 13 days he * See "Exploring the Ice Age in Antarctica," by Richard E. Byrd, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, October, 1935.