Ice Cores from the Dry Valleys of Antarctica
Karl Kreutz, Bruce Williamson, Erich Osterberg
October 18, 2003 to December 10, 2003
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Journal entries October 23, October 25, October 27, October 29, November 27, 2003
In the field: Day 1-5, Day 6-10, Day 11-15, Day 16-21

Thursday October 30, 2003

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Mike Mike with helicopter helmet

After the helicopter flight yesterday we have a few good field sites in mind. We spent all day today getting all of the gear ready to go to the field. We have so much stuff! But when you think about each piece of gear, you realize that it is all necessary. Mike and I started putting together all of the food. They have a whole warehouse here filled with food, and you can take as much of anything that you want – except chocolate bars. You are only allowed to take two chocolate bars per day, but that’s more than enough I think. It’s very difficult planning for one month of food for five people – you don’t want to take too much, but you REALLY don’t want to take too little. So we spent a long time planning it all out.

There have been some questions about Mike, so we thought we’d introduce him to you all. Mike is our expert ice core driller, mountain guide, chef and entertainer. Karl and I first met him in the Saint Elias Mountains in Alaska this past summer on another expedition to do similar work to what we’re doing now. Mike was working on automatic weather stations, with which he also has expertise. Automatic weather stations are instruments that record temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction, and even snow depth automatically. You can leave them on glaciers or mountains (or anywhere) for months or even years at a time, and all of the measurements are saved for you to download later. Mike was born in Poland, but now lives in Canada with his black Labrador retriever named Sade. I mentioned that Mike is also a chef. We will all be taking turns cooking in the field, but Mike is by far the most skilled of all of us, so we’ll be looking forward to his meals the most!

As for entertainment, he has many stories about his adventures around the North Pole with other researchers that keep us entertained on those cold nights in the field.

Friday October 31, 2003

We’re not really celebrating it today because the big Halloween costume party is tomorrow night. Today was more packing and planning, and getting ready for the field. We hope to fly into the field next Wednesday. Tonight we went to a haunted house here on McMurdo. Very scary!!

Saturday November 1, 2003

Today we spent a few hours on the sea ice near McMurdo base testing out our radios, our radar equipment, and our global positioning system (GPS) equipment. The radios are the same ones we learned how to use in snowcraft school last week. The radar allows us to see ice layers under the surface of the glacier so we can see where the best ice core sites are in the field. We don’t want to pick sites where the layers are

ce layers under the surface of the glacier so we can see where the best ice core sites are in the field. We don’t want to pick sites where the layers are