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Going to the first station at the Geographic South Pole, called the 'Old Pole,' is a time-honored tradition for polies. Old Pole was built in 1956 and used until 1973, when the new dome was commissioned. It's extremely dangerous, and collapsing everywhere - the dome is stored up with timbers, and the shoring is caving in. Expeditioners are taking a risk, but they use caution by signing in and out, using the buddy system, and taking two-way radios.

There's a culvert going into the dome, with a cover like a city sewer. You climb down the ladder about 20 feet until you slide down a passage to get to a huge, cavernous room. Our expeditioner friend who was there said that it was very sci-fi-looking. It was as though the people had just got up and left: there was food on the table and clothes in the closet. All of the old com equipment, like tube-type radios, was there.

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