PAE, Inc Mountaineer (South Pole Traverse) in McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Supporting the Most Exciting and Meaningful Missions in the World

Mountaineer (South Pole Traverse)

Summary: Provides Mountaineer duties during the South Pole Traverse.

GENERAL DUTIES (not all inclusive):

  • Facilitates the USAP Field Safety Training program at McMurdo Station providing detailed instruction on cold weather survival techniques, Risk Management, radio communications procedures, familiarization of surroundings, local weather, technical mountaineering skills, crevasse rescue, safe sea ice travel and basic first aid concepts

  • Trains grantees and other USAP participants in the use of life-safety survival gear and field equipment stocked in the field center. This includes but is not limited to sizing climbing equipment, operating camp stoves, erecting a variety of tents, and offering instruction on the proper use of a large variety of other field equipment.

  • Repairs, maintains, and cleans life-safety field equipment including specialty items (variety of sleds, tents, stoves, ice coring equipment, and climbing equipment).

  • Provides technical expertise and support for science groups, other sub-contractors (e.g. air support providers), military, and ASC personnel in technical terrain and associated situations

  • Participates as an active member of the Summer USAP Search and Rescue Team, engaged in all trainings, exercises, and deployments. Responsible for maintaining all specialized Search and Rescue equipment, including vehicles. May be required to assist with Emergency Operations Center activities during prolonged responses.

  • Performs remote field support duties to NSF sponsored events as required. When deployed into the field, takes on a leadership role to support science activities. Required to work outside on various jobs in extreme cold weather conditions for long hours. Occasionally employee must work at high altitudes. Field deployment duties may include the following:

  • Maintains a field safety role focusing on risk assessment and management of field hazards.

  • Supports the packing, prioritization, and loading and unloading of cargo from aircraft.

  • Responsible for hazardous cargo identification, labeling, and handling prior to, while in, and during transport from the field.

  • Builds, breaks-down and hooks live sling loads from helicopters.

  • Performs duties such as equipment operation, weather observations, and fueling as required.

  • Ensures field site and equipment are maintained and secured for Antarctic conditions.

  • Maintains a tidy camp, adheres to environmental protocol, and is responsible for retrograding waste as needed.

  • Acts as a first responder in the field as necessary, providing medical care at the Wilderness First Responder Level

  • Works with science teams at field camps to provide required support, troubleshoot issues, and is involved in decision making. May handle and resolve difficult situations such as personnel issues or resource limitations.

  • Identifies and provides many logistical needs, including; inventory reporting, fuel deliveries, and snow melting.

  • Ensures that daily communications and weather observations are reported.

  • Provides support cooking, re-supply food planning, and galley tasks and dish washing as needed.

  • Interacts with National Science Foundation, other sub-contractors (e.g. air support providers), military, other agency officials, and Antarctica New Zealand, both over the telephone and in person, in a professional and tactful manner.

  • Operates and maintains snowmobiles, tracked snow vehicles, fork lift, and all other mechanical equipment issued to the work center

  • Works with Mac-Ops, Field Support Coordinators, Helo Ops and Av Ops to ensure resupply to the field groups; Packages, TCN’s, and tracks resupply cargo

  • Uses an Access database to track field equipment that is issued to and returned from sponsored events

  • Educates field-bound groups on the risks and prevention associated with Carbon Monoxide issues

  • Routinely works without direct supervision and often in role requiring leadership or delegation of tasking

  • Participates in an annual inventory cycle count and ship-offload activities

  • Frequently needs to lift and push 50 lbs. constantly moves 20 lb objects

  • Responsible for maintaining a safe workplace and ensuring that safety is the highest priority in the workplace

  • Performs other duties as required.


  • Valid Driver’s license is required.

  • Current CPR certification and current Wilderness First Responder certification required.

  • Incident Command System (ICS) 100 and 200 certifications required for offer consideration (training offered free through FEMA).

  • Mountain guiding certification in UIAGM, AMGA is preferred.

  • A minimum of eight years experience in outdoor education and leadership is required, to include at least four years of technical mountaineering and guiding in glaciated alpine environments.

  • Extensive experience in glacier mountaineering with demonstrated expedition leadership is required.

  • A proven ability to work in remote, harsh environmental, as a team player, is required.

  • Search and Rescue experience preferred. Denali level or other big mountain experience preferred.

  • Computer competency required with a proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Word, and Access preferred.

  • Willingness and ability to deploy to Antarctica for extended periods is required.

  • Must be willing and able to lift and move items, parts, assemblies and equipment up to the safety regulation maximum.

  • Must be willing and able to perform physical activities including heavy lifting, climbing in and out of equipment, crawling, and working outdoors.

  • Must successfully complete the physical, dental and psychological (if applicable) examinations as required by the NSF for deploying to Antarctica.

  • Must participate in community programs, such as “house-mouse” (chores), “daisy-picking” (cleaning-up around the station), recycling efforts & safety objectives.

  • US citizenship is required.

An Equal Opportunity Employer. PAE’s hiring practices provide equal opportunity for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex, gender, national origin, age, United States military veteran’s status, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, family structure, medical condition including genetic characteristics or information, veteran status, or mental or physical disability so long as the essential functions of the job can be performed with or without reasonable accommodation, or any other protected category under federal, state, or local law.

EEO is the Law Poster at


PAE is a leading provider of enduring support for the essential missions of the U.S. government, its allied partners and international organizations. With over 60 years of experience, PAE supports the execution of complex and critical missions by providing global logistics and stability operations, technical services and national security solutions to customers around the world. PAE has a workforce of approximately 15,000 people in over 60 countries on all seven continents and is headquartered in Arlington, VA.

In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), should you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a currently open position with PAE, please call Recruiting at (703) 656-6064 or email with "Disability Assistance" in the subject line.