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
Building the Runway, and a Brief Run Away

Another beautiful, balmy day in the Antarctic… perhaps this whole “Global Warming” (or, as Sujoy would say, facetiously: “Remember, not global ‘warming,’ global ‘climate change’”) thing isn’t so bad. I arose to a fantastic brunch of blueberry pancakes, bacon, and cream of wheat, and got to work organizing camp for the move now to be on the 15th. I organized our samples into 10 rock boxes under Sujoy’s guidance. We organized the samples in a way which did not concentrate entire field areas into single boxes, but rather spread everything out (this actually worked out well when organizing by sample number) so if a box was lost, not all samples from a specific site were gone.

After organization and a quick lunch, I set out to work on the runway for the twin otters. I chopped down the sastrugi with a shovel, and Sujoy came by with the Skandic and smoothed things out. At one point, he gave me a lift to the opposite end of the runway, but I wasn’t well situated while the machine got going. I felt myself begin to slip, and before I knew it, I was tumbling around on the surface of our new runway… I personally got to assess what it was like to land on the surface, and must say, it was still a bit lumpy! I recovered from the tumble and chased after Sujoy, who had just noticed that something was missing from the Skandic… We had a good laugh at dinner recounting the comical incident. Apparently Robert had been watching literally moments after the incident… if only he had looked sooner, he would have been treated to a spectacularly goofy show!

After sastrugi decimation, I got an okay from Peter to go for my first run on the continental Antarctica. I ran along the sled trail towards the blue ice near Treves Butte. It was my first run in about two weeks, and felt truly amazing. How I’ve missed the zen of running! I wish that I could’ve kept going and going, with no particular destination. I returned, the round trip being about 8 miles, warm from running in the sun, and did my push-ups. I found from my return to exercise today that I was not as out-of-shape as I thought I’d be.

Our dinner this evening was pork sautéed in Thai peanut sauce with wild rice, and decadently prepared frozen veggies (Sujoy’s obvious gift). We had a cup each of egg-nog with some glenlivet to celebrate the successful completion of all field objectives for the lower field camp. Now it is off to bed. Robert hopes to explore the unnamed ridges coming from Schulthess Buttress, on the central Buckeye Table cliffs. Good fodder for hopeful dreams. Sjàmst í morgan…

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