Yesterday was a very productive day for the FirnCover crew:

  • Darren and Max dug snow pits to measure snow density and stratigraphy from last winter.
  • GPS surveys were conducted to gauge how much the camp actually moves from year to year: how much the ice is spreading and it’s elevation (loss or gain).  These measurements along with other factors can contribute to determining the total mass balance of the ice sheet.
  • A 16 m (52.5 ft) ice core was drilled successfully (performed early in the morning before temperatures got warmer). The core was divided into 160 individual 10 cm (~ 4 in) segments and stratigraphy and density measurements were logged. A compaction instrument was then installed over the ice core hole.
  • Aleah’s permeability test was run successfully.
  • Darren repaired a generator that had failed that morning. A replacement was requested “just in case”. (The ice sheet is not a place you want to spend time in without a working generator.)

After a long day of hard work, they enjoyed a delicious dinner Baptiste made: breaded fish, alfredo sauce, hashbrowns, cooked vegetables and a refreshing “slushy” white wine.  (Sounds better than what I had last night!)

The plan for today is to pack up at KAN-U early and make the traverse back to DYE-2 before potential bad weather blows in. The weather forecast expects head winds of up to 35 knots – too dangerous for traversing. Let’s hope they make it back to their home base well before the high winds kick in later in the afternoon.


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