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Stormi Garvey - An unforgettable summer in Antarctica

In October 2020 Stormi moved to McMurdo Station Antarctica for a once in a lifetime experience and while in her own words, none of the photos do it justice, we are so excited to share this unique and awe-inspiring venture through her ever-optimistic and sparkling eyes!

Starting from her time preparing in New Zealand...

Next stop... Antarctica.

Wait, what? Yup. This little dream is coming true... okay not “little”... more like ginormous, off the charts, one of those dreams you don’t really share with everyone because it’s as unrealistic as going to the moon. I mean, it might as well be! That’s why I’m in New Zealand. Two hundred employees (including myself) are under a two week mandatory COVID induced isolation period before departing for “the ice”. That’s what they call Antarctica, “the ice”. Isn’t that fricken cool?! Thank you for the well wishes supporting my visit to this GORGEOUS country, alas, she is just a pit stop. I won’t even be touching a single shimmering green blade of grass while I’m here. The only exploring is this hotel room or a gravel 100 square foot space to walk circles in like a caged animal. Every precaution has been taken to get this crew to “the Ice” COVID free. This is what I do, what WE vagabond/gypsy/nomad/wanderers will happily “suffer” through to chase down and tackle our wildest dreams. For us it isn’t actually suffering though. We chalk it up to unique experiences, exceptional adventures, or a one of a kind chapter in our book of life. This all seems INSANE to a lot of people but, without grit or sacrifice, well...where’s the fun in that?

So where the heck did I get this idea?

This idea was born in Denali, Alaska, specifically in hammock city, between thin evergreens as a gift in conversation from an incredible traveler named Tobi. From that moment, Antarctica planted herself on my horizons for the next 8 years. And now here I am trying on the ECW gear that was issued and assigned to me. I have it in my hands. My name has been printed and placed on the front pocket. It’s so beautiful. I have tears in my eyes at the realization that “this is actually happening”. Ten more days and we depart for McMurdo Station as the support staff for researchers and scientists. My new family for the next five months. I can’t put into words the joy my heart and soul feel right now. The ether and universe work in magical ways.

Ready to see what a summer in a world of ice has waiting for me.

This is me smiling in -31 Degrees wind chill. A frozen ocean backyard views for the next few months.

"Posting photos doesn't seem important anymore because NONE of them do it justice. There is a hill in the backyard next to the frozen ocean. At the top of it you can set your eyes on a volcano. There are seals all over the frozen ocean birthing itty bitty seal pups that make my mind rattle with questions like "how in the world do they survive?!". There is a trail on top of that ocean and the concept that 7 feet of ice was all that lies between you and a VERY chilly body of water was a wild one. Handstands and cartwheels were performed on that walk with a new fellow adventurer. And you guys.... the people here... Damn. Wild ass vagabonds with stories, adventurers with tales that make mine seem sillies, and the kindest souls. I have lived in some desolate areas... but this tops them all. I have never seen a community or camaraderie such as this before."

"If you think you're about to fall, don't." - Stormi

A hike in Antarctica. Volcano to the left and Castle Rock to the right. 13 miles through fluffy and icy snow with the sunshine pouring down all around.

Views of Erebus on a snow Mobile outing. Ross Island, Antarctica.

Hauling it through badass Antarctic weather during the McMurdo 2021 Marathon, and taking in the snowy views!

Mountain views, penguin tracks, Weddell seals, and more...

And just like that my 5 month season in Antarctica comes to a close. Another chapter for the book! The experience was one I’ll cherish like a crazy rollercoaster ride. The scenery is imprinted in my mind with that forever sun in the sky. Watching the animals and their survival in that harsh climate was unbelievable. I rocked out 122 climbs up Ob Hill, claimed my first marathon (on a fat tire bike in the snow ), made memories in apples and have a profound respect for fresh fruit and vegetables like never before. There was a walk across frozen ocean, sky’s dives, skua hunting (aka shopping), craft room wood burning, and no cell phone service. It was a wild ride I might take again one day. Antarctica... you have a piece of me forever.

- Stormi Garvey, 2021

McMurdo Station, Antarctica

77.8419° S, 166.6863° E

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1 Comment

Chris Sunshine
Chris Sunshine
Apr 17, 2021

Wow! That is really amazing! Thanks for sharing ❤️

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