The 300 Club

No, the 300 Club has nothing to do with Spartans, but instead a temperature range! To join the 300 Club, you must experience a total range of 300 degrees Fahrenheit in a short amount of time. Places where this is possible to accomplish are limited, so it makes sense that the practice began on the Antarctic continent.

The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station at which the 300 Club began
The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station at which the 300 Club began

The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, also the location of the ceremonial South Pole, has a sauna for its residents. For the challenge, the initiates strip down to nothing and sit in the sauna at 200º. Once sufficiently boiled, they pull on insulated boots and make their way around the South Pole (at an astonishing -100º or below). No other clothing is allowed beyond the boots or perhaps a neck gaiter. And for more good reason than just the tradition: if clothing gets sweat from the sauna, it will instantly freeze to your skin when you walk outside!

The patch that members proudly receive.
The patch that members proudly receive.

Whether the challenge is done at a run or a walk is left to the person attempting it. However, according to one Darryn Schneider the faster you go through the cold, the more pain you deal with later

The impulse is to run. And when everyone else is following their impulse, it’s hard not to follow also. But this is a mistake. Not only does it cause more windchill, but you start panting, and risk burning your lungs.

My mistake was running up the hill. I had a cough for the rest of the day. As for the people that went for the pole, or ran the whole way, many are still coughing. Nothing fun about frost biting your lungs. Only a few made it all the way to the pole without realising how stupid it was. The most important thing is that I’m now the owner of a ultra cool cloth patch.

This week demonstrates how life here can go from an amazingly fun time to very sobering in the blink of an eye. And then we go back to work.

-25th June – 2nd July 2000

Running around the pole
Running around the pole

In the end, the runners (or walkers as the case may be) come back to the sauna to reheat. This is often accompanied by drinks of an alcoholic nature. The rules are simple and the members are few, but the 300 Club is certainly not uninspired.

2 thoughts on “The 300 Club

  1. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. Cheers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *