On the right is the science tent. We had to dig out the doorway about every 20 minutes. To the left is a snow drift that grew to be probably 7-8 ft tall.

While were at Byrd part of our weather delays were related to a pretty bad 48-hour wind storm we experienced. The winds reached 35 knots, which is something like 40 mph. It doesn’t sound so bad unless your home is a tent.


One of the times I went out to check on my tent and tighten down the guy lines. I checked on it every few hours during the peak of the storm.

Not only was my bedroom a tent, it was on the windward side of tent city so it, along with the 3 others on that side, took a real beating. Only one of 4 on that side was still usable when all was said and done. Mine ended up with 3 holes near the base where drifted snow was sneaking in. And that doesn’t consider the fact that it was a challenge keeping snow out of the vestibule due to the design of the tent. Another had a rip in the fly, which we replaced with another fly with a smaller rip.


Snow piling up in my vestibule through a crack near the zipper. I ended up having to bury the zipper pull entirely and dig it out each time I went inside to avoid this. It got about twice this full at points and I had to dig my way out.

And one of the four, I’m sorry to say, didn’t make it.



This tragedy has been blamed in part on user error. It belonged to a former-fighter-pilot tough-guy who has been to the deep field one too many times and didn’t particularly want to be there. His motto during tent set up? “Better is the enemy of good enough.”

After several hours and lots of assistance replacing poles and tightening guy lines, during which he insisted it was still livable, he gave up and slept in the science tent. Next to the stove. Tough life.


Admitting defeat


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