22 May 2015

When are we going down again?


One of the snowmobile teams: Helle is studying a fresh ice core from one of the drill sites. The tracks after passage of the traverse can be seen to the right

Doing a traverse across an ice sheet is a challenge, not only because of the hard work involved, especially for Pat and Sverrir; but it is also a challenge of the patience of the tractor drivers. By constantly reconfiguring the loads to optimize travel speed (7 km/hour) for all vehicles, we are slowly achieving an even speed for our vehicles. The snow has to cooperate however, and sometimes, particularly after 18.00, the snow deteriorates and we loose traction and progress is slow. The snowmobile teams however, enjoy the freedom of movement. Several drivers sit and hope for higher speeds, and all day today, they were discussing, when it would begin to go downhill, while watching their GPS. But today’s trip was very flat indeed. Here, the Greenland ice sheet is very flat; but we hope that the downhill trek will begin tomorrow. We only have to descend 70 m, but all the same, it helps on our spirits.

We had tonight for ourselves, which was a welcome change to the past three days. The PARCA team was welcome here, but the dome has been rather crowded.   

What we have done today:

1. Refuelling aeroplane and sending our PARCA guests on their way.
2. Service on vehicles.
3. Flexmobils left at 8.40, and main train followed at 9.00. At 18.30 we all had
    arrived midway between Waypoint 23 and 24 (76.27 N, 42.88W) 2786 m
    altitude. Now we are more than half way: 205 km from EGRIP (251 km from
    NEEM site).
4. Reconfiguring sleds. Attaching mechanics tools sled behind U.S. GrIT sled.
5. Measurement of radar and GPS en-route.
6. Snow sampling en-route.

Ad.1: The PARCA team was able to fly to Summit today. Again, we are 11 persons in camp.

Weather: Beautiful day, in the evening thin broken. Temp. – 16 °C to -25 °C, 4-7 m/s from SSW. Visibility: Unrestricted.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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