Today’s snowmobile traverse to DYE 2 was rather uneventful at the start, but about 35 km/22 mi in, the team was faced with strong head winds and blowing snow which produced full on whiteout conditions with temperatures hovering around -30˚F. With no visibility of the horizon line for the remaining 60 km/37 mi, they exclusively depended on their GPS waypoints for direction. The color white was all that was perceptible in any direction. Darren Hill, the team technician, stated “You couldn’t see anything in front of you except for the very back of the sled ahead. It felt like we were going around in circles and we could barely see out of our helmets.”
Eventually after about 6 hours of traversing, the team safely made it to DYE 2. They discovered that during the traverse, one of the fuel barrels had punctured. After locating the leak, they placed the barrel on its side and used a piece of chewing gum to plug the hole in an attempt to keep the snow out. Ironically, virtually the identical situation occurred on the ACT-13 field campaign when a fuel barrel was punctured and “repaired” in the same manner.
During their stay at DYE 2 camp, the scientists will drill new cores and install additional instruments.