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Wine-Sodden Gaggle of Homesick Wanderers
Friday, December 17, 1999

Mark Sicola
Dec. 17th, Wade McKoy reporting. Eight more shopping days 'til Christmas, 24 more hours until the Hercules fly off the continent of Antarctica. The storm ends, after six days of incessant snow and wind had bothered us into becoming an over-slept, over-eating, under-exercised and wine-sodden gaggle of homesick wanderers, the storm's mask was lifted, revealing flat white horizons, sporting a nunatak (pyramid) here or there, distant floating, mountain island, and the Patriot Hills at our doorstop, which we plan to ski tomorrow. Newcomb checked it out and found good powder skiing, after Coombs had found scary icy skiing in the closer-by, steeper part of the Patriot Hills after he pulled an all-nighter, going skiing at 8am instead of going to bed.

And now Dirk Collins is out on this big, tractor, auger…they have lots of big equipment, a Tucker AsnowCat with a plow in front of it, in 24-hour shifts trying to plow the six inches to foot-and-half snow drifts off the blue ice runway which needs to be plowed off before we can fly out of here, but we're going to go skiing first.

We're eating real good...who said the British can't cook, not me, the food is really good. They got some great cooks here. The Greek team gave a heartfelt talk tonight, talking about their country and revealed the fact that Greece is the most wild part of Europe left. They have bears and wolves and no place in Europe has bears and wolves. There are only about 30 hard core climbers in Greece out of about 10,000 other backpacker types and out of a population of millions. They have a lot of mountains in Greece and it was just a really nice talk, they're a great team.

The night before that, holy cow, that's the secret weapon. We're going to do a special magazine article on, I'll give you one hint, his name is Alain, and he's from Belgium and he is... hmmm, three-word definition...secret weapon, he's our secret weapon. He is the secret weapon of the future and we're going to talk more about that later...

— Wade McKoy, Correspondent


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