24 June 2007

Week 25

Wednesday, June 20th

The first team has taken the plane from Kangerlussuaq to the ice sheet, and should have arrived safe and sound as we write. There will be plenty of work for them the whole night though, as they need to excavate several vehicles from under 3-5 meters of snowcover, and to clear a skiway for the airplanes that will arrive tomorrow, according to the plan. 

22:00 L Stopped grooming.

15:00 L Grooming of the skiway started. The NGRIP main dome entered through top hatch.

10:00 L Landing at NGRIP - very soft snow. Plane shut down and vehicles excavated.

8:30 L The plane took off. 

Thursday, June 21st

21:00 L Generator started. Temperature in first floor of dome is 13 C.

Still snowstorm, the weather forecast says the wind might go down a little tomorrow morning, but only leave a window of 4-6 hours. An attempt to groom the skiway and a possible take-off is considered.

Due to these weather delays we will not get our needed two flights to NGRIP with more food and spare parts.

It is therefore decided to bring all people back to Kangerlussuaq whenever possible..

A new attempt to go to NGRIP will probably be made in 3 weeks. Next update 7:00 L.

16:00 L 30 knot wind gusting to 40 knot snow and no visibility. It is not possible to even groom the skiway.

Instead they try to clear the ventilation ducts around the main dome in order to start the generator.

8:45 L Next attempt to take off at NGRIP will be 16: 00 L.

7:00 L Plane shut down and grooming started...

5:00 L One take-off attempt made. But still too much friction and cross wind.

Friday, June 22nd

18.00 L Everybody on hold due to high crosswinds at the Summit station. They have to go to Summit for refuelling. Now waiting for the weather to improve at Summit. The weather forecast is promising. They prepare for a take-off 4.00 L.

16:30 L Wind condition very promising stable 10-12 knot down the skiway. Everybody gets ready to leave.

13:00 L So far communication has been via Iridium phones. Now they have the BGAN satellite system running. Here is a report from the camp:

"This is a very brief status report from NGRIP. The main generator is up and running fine. It was started at approx 18:00 yesterday and has been running well since. The main dome is very pleasant with all power & heating we need. The skiway is being groomed. Weather is a moderate breeze running up the runway. Wind direction 320 magnetic, wind speed 12-14 knots, Air Temperature = -10.5′C, visibility - good to horizon, cloud cover - none, clear blue sky. People are in good spirits. Preparing to close down camp but allow fast camp set up on return."

12:00 L Two more hours of grooming to come then the skiway will setup some hours and it should be ready for a new take-off attempt.

7:00 L Weather has improved a little and they will start to groom the skiway again.

Saturday, June 23rd

10:00 L Skier 96 safe back in Kangerlussuaq...

Pictures and more info about the "trip" to NGRIP will appear soon.

6:30 L Skier 96 Airborne and on its way to Summit. Check out Summit webcam at 7:00 L.

5: 00 L The Skier's APU up and running. Estimated time of departure (ETD) 6:00 L. The ETA Summit 6:45 L, refuelling at Summit and ETA Kangerlussuaq 11:00 L.

4:00 L Everything looks fine for a take-off, NGRIP -13C, 15 knot and Summit -23C 7 knot.. Packing down the camp.

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