West Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability:
Glacial Record from the Ohio Range of
the Horlick Mountains in the Bottleneck
Hal Borns*, Aaron Putnam, UMaine
Robert Ackert, Sujoy Mukhopadhyay, Harvard.
December 15, 2004 to February 15, 2005
January 2nd 2005

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A sample

Wind-blown snow

Under the Weather, pt. 1

It is just after midnight, so I mustn’t remain awake long writing… I awoke today to the sound of the wind, having not relented from its furious blasts last night. Recalling what Peter had said (“If it sounds like this in the morning, just go back to sleep…”), I took his advice and did just that. I eventually couldn’t sleep any longer, and was up and about at 0930h. I arose, shoveled the drift from in front of the cook tent, reinforced my own with a fresh anchoring snow-pile, and dug up some hard-pack for melting. I made coffee, hot water, and still there was no sign of the crew… I decided to go for it, and made breakfast.

I fried up some raisin-filled brown bread, sausage, and threw some de-hy scrambled eggs into the skillet. In order to spruce up the re-hydrated eggs, I added some Monterey Jack cheese, basil, and parsley. The eggs now at least looked bearable, and I had everything assembled and ready to be delivered as breakfast in bed for my cohorts. Unfortunately, Robert entered the tent just then, but I was able to serve Sujoy and Peter. I think I may have startled Peter out of sleep, because when I asked:
“Peter, I have a delivery…”
He replied:
“What is it!? Oh, oh – okay…”

What, other than food, he thought I was delivering was beyond me – but he later told me that he thought the Twin Otters had arrived and left while he was asleep, and they had left a delivery for him! I can now understand his startled response.
By around 1300h, we were no longer under the weather, and decided to brave the residual winds and sample the topmost terrace on the northern Discovery Ridge. It was very cold and windy, however still an amazing sight on the tillite. Because of the environmental factors, sampling was certainly very quick and efficient! On the way off the table we could see the wind blowing magnificent plumes of snow from the cliffs overhead. A hydraulic formed in the air just above the ridge where large clouds churned over themselves – quite amazing to see what happens when air masses that have been cruising across the flat ice sheet hit the cliffs of the Ohio Range!

Our return was quickly followed by dinner, where we discussed a camp move in a couple days. The plan for tomorrow is to get back to Mama Nunatak and try to get onto the outcrop from the windscoop, and then start preparing the camp for a move. We’ll see if the weather permits (both down here AND on the Buckeye Table).

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