October 29, 2004
We flew on the 27th, and spent yesterday and today setting up camp and beginning our work. Unfortunately, while all of our personal gear – tents, propane for cooking and heating, sleep kits, etc. – has arrived, some of the equipment and fuel for the drill has not, and we are unable to start drilling until it does. Mike and Karl did get a good start on setting up the automatic weather station which will check the temperature, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and snow depth at the site over the next year. It's a pretty slick set-up. Meanwhile, Terry did the work he could with the drill and I went and checked the mass balance poles. These are poles we put in the ice last November to track how the snow depth changes each year. Last year we put in seven poles, and all but one of them show accumulated snow this year (there is a smaller amount of pole still above the surface). It's interesting how much variation there is. The poles ranged from a loss of 1 cm of snow to a gain of almost 70 cm. Most of the values were between 10 and 20 cm of snow gained. This part of the Clark is growing, apparently, which is what we hope to see. Then we had a delicious steak dinner, and now we are awaiting our other gear, so we can get started on the drilling. Good stuff!
October 30, 2004
These first few nights have been cold! We had low temperatures of –33º C (about –23º F), and so along with our other gear, we had extra sleeping bags sent out. That did the trick! It's nice to sleep warm. Also, the rest of the gear arrived today, so Mike and Terry made good progress getting the drill set up. I spent most of the day putting some finishing touches on setting up our kitchen tent (very civilized), and Karl and I also did some more work on the weather station.
October 31, 2004
Today was the day to dig a snowpit. We dig these at all of our sites. They go down 2 meters, and we then take samples from the snow every 2 cm from the surface to the bottom of the pit. Mike and Terry completed the drill so it's ready to go for tomorrow, and Karl and Mike finished up the weather station. The drill is pretty impressive. I don't know if these pictures capture it, but it involves a trench 2 meters deep and a frame that covers about 3 meters of area. It is then set up inside of a dome tent for protection and has a control box as well as all sorts of other accessories to make it work. The project is fully in gear now.