14 June 2008

Blizzard – not again!

Bruce in the snow

Bruce is still able to smile during a blizzard.

Weather was very strange today. All morning we had moderate winds from SE and S, but it was very warm. At noon, temperatures reached 0 C. It was beginning to snow, and this snow melted all around. We were experimenting with ways to mount the outer wall panels on the main dome, and Gaël was operating the snow blower in the drill trench, as the storm hit us at 12.30. Within 15 minutes the wind turned 60 degrees to SW, picked up from 13 knots to 22 knots, temperature dropped to -7 C and it began to snow heavily. Everybody scrambled to pick up tools before they disappeared and before the freezing water glued them to surfaces. J.P. ran down in the still open drill trench to tell Gaël to get out of there before he drifted in. Gaël was completely unaware of the weather change. When Gaël and the snow blower were out, we covered and sealed the drill trench in 30 minutes. As Peter and Gaël went to the lumber yard to pick up some more plywood to cover the drill trench, they spotted our outhouse tent flying across the apron. They caught it by snowmobile and it was fixed back where it belongs with a snowmobile as anchor. Luckily nobody was inside when it took off.

Just before the storm hit us, the first half of GReenland Ice sheet Traverse, GRIT, arrived. The main tractor with the heavy load was still a few hours behind. Then the storm came, and the tractor had to leave the heavy load behind and had to be guided into camp as visibility was very poor. We now have four visitors in camp: Brad Johnson, Allan O’Bannion, Pat Smith and Jim Lever.

Saturday evening was held in the middle of a blizzard. Everybody got a shower (The GRIT people were first in the shower line).

What we have done today:

  1. Blowing drill trench, now 6.1 m deep in some places. Floor needs to be leveled out and walls need to be made straight.
  2. Working on panel mounting procedure.
  3. Tightening remaining bolts in dome structure.
  4. Making staircase for main dome.

Ad.2: The insulated wooden panels have to be mounted on the outside of the steel frame. We have developed a method to lift them with the crane and place them into position.

Weather: Morning, overcast, - 3 to 0 C, 12 knots from SE and S. Visibility: 3 miles, snow. Starting 12.30: Thick clouds, – 11 C, up to 26 knots from SW, Visibility: ¼ miles, snow and blowing snow.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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