Welcome to Basically Bipolar!

Five years ago I spent the winter at Summit Station, on the apex of the Greenland ice cap. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Being above the Arctic Circle, I was immersed in darkness for three long months while the sun remained stubbornly below the horizon. Temperatures in the -40ºF range were ludicrously normal and I experienced temps as low as -80ºF and windchills below -100ºF. Stretching to every horizon was a perfectly flat expanse of glacial ice and emptiness. It was both beautiful and unnerving. In that bleak void of variation, of warmth, of light, I struggled to occupy my time as my mental composure performed a drunken belly-flop into the muck of oblivion. At the end of those three months I swore I would never do it again.

And yet…

In four days, weather permitting (likely it won’t), I will arrive once again at Summit Station. Believe me, my surprise is equally as pungent as yours, to say the least. But I propose that my former oath will not be broken, not exactly. Instead of arriving shortly before the sun sets for the winter, I will arrive shortly after it has risen again for the spring. Instead of plunging slowly deeper into celestial darkness – and cerebral delirium – the days will grow rapidly longer. Upon my arrival, the sun will be up for about five hours a day. By the time I leave, in mid-June, it will be up around the clock. This not-so-subtle factor will be the incredibly significant disparity that sets this deployment to Summit apart from my last. I hope.

And yet…

It will still be a uniform, empty expanse of snow. It will still be ludicrously cold. It will still be a struggle to occupy my time. As for my mind…

Am I crazy?

Probably. Yes.

Welcome to Basically Bipolar!

2 Replies to “Welcome to Basically Bipolar!”

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