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Making Tracks at the Bottom of the World

Life at McMurdo Station, Antarctica's scientific outpost, involves its own rituals and traditions, among which is the Scott's Hut race, held each year in early January.

McKay, Morse, and Adams
McKay '10, Morse '97, and Adams '06 (Photo by Ross Virginia)

This year, Dartmouth was well-represented in the 8-kilometer dash on dirt roads from McMurdo Station to Scott's Hut, the site of Robert F. Scott's hut from his first expedition—the Discovery Expedition of 1902. Running in the race were Amber Morse '97 (who is working for Raytheon Polar Services), Abigail Adams '06, and Ian McKay '10. McKay, who deferred matriculation for a year to work at McMurdo Station for Raytheon as a field assistant, finished first overall in the race among roughly 50 runners.

Adams, a research assistant to Dartmouth Professor of Environmental Studies Ross Virginia, was the second woman to finish the race. She is currently helping Virginia with research on the ecology and biogeochemistry of soils in the McMurdo Dry Valleys.

Although January is a comparatively warm summer month for the Antarctic, temperatures typically rise only to the 30s, making the nearly five-mile, uphill run a real challenge.

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Last Updated: 5/30/08