We are out of the difficult snow zone
Yesterday evening we made plans. It was doubtful if the Case tractor could pull the dome, the generator and a tank in the morning. Likewise, the Pistenbully had trouble pulling the long train. Therefore, we decided to perform a test this morning. If the Case could not pull the dome with attachments, then the attachments should be uncoupled and we should check if the Case could pull the dome only. This test was successful, and the Case kept moving with the dome. The other vehicles stayed behind to rearrange loads. As planned, we removed a few essential items from the lumber sled and the drillers sled, and we parked them along with two empty tanks at our overnight position.
This is 135 km from EGRIP, and next year, we will send a vehicle to the site for pick-up of the sleds and tanks. The sleds only contain items that we anyway will not be using until next year.
After rearranging the rest, one Flexmobil pulled the generator, the other pulled the mechanics sled and a tank, and the Pistenbully train became shorter. The Pistenbully with the GrIT sled kept its load. This turned out to be a good configuration, and all four tractors went in pursuit of the Case and the dome.
Soon the snow conditions improved too, and we made very good time. From 10.30 to 19.30 we drove 75 km – a new record!
We are now only 53 km from EGRIP, and we expect to arrive there tomorrow at 16.00. The whole camp was in a very good mood tonight, although several of the snowmobile teams were very tired after being outside in the wind and cold for 75 km; but we are looking forward to some celebration and a little extra rest tomorrow.
What we have done today:
1. Service on vehicles. Inspection of dome.
2. Tested if Case could pull dome, generator and a tank as usual. Test failed.
3. Decided to leave two heavy sleds (Lumber sled and drillers sled) and two
empty tanks and to reconfigure the rest.
4. Dome moved at 9.00 and the other vehicles 10.30 after reconfiguring. At
19.30 we had arrived at Waypoint 25 (75.86N, 37.70W) 2720 m altitude. 53
km from EGRIP (396 km from NEEM site). Made 75 km today.
5. Measurement of radar and GPS en-route.
6. Snow sampling en-route.
Weather: Beautiful day. Temp. – 16 °C to -32 °C, 2-9 m/s from SW. Visibility: Hazy due to low snow drift, later unrestricted.
FL, J.P. Steffensen
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