Susan writes from Lazhou:
Today the group is leaving Lanzhou and heading toward the Tibetan Plateau. Nine people left this morning - one group in a jeep, and the other group in a large truck that is carrying our equipment and food. The remaining six of us, including Bjorn and me, will catch an evening train to Golmud. The train ride should be about 18 hours. In Golmud we will buy some additional supplies for the field, and stock up on lots of vegetables. Golmud is a good intermediate stop before we climb up onto the Tibetan Plateau, since the elevation of the
plateau is over 14,000 ft.
Shichang went to Lhasa a few days ago to collect some additional equipment, and we will meet him in a few more days near Tanggula Pass near the Tibetan border. From there we will head off of the highway and towards Mt. Geladandong. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the ground will be solid enough for our trucks to pass over- if the ground is very soft it will make the travel very challenging. Otherwise everyone has been busy preparing their equipment for the field, and we have been preparing the continuous melter lab for melting the ice core.
Bjorn writes from Golmud:
The train ride from Lanzhou to Golmud was very pleasant and gave us the opportunity to see some of China's vast desert areas. Golmud is quite unlike the surrounding arid landscape. It is full of trees that densely line the sides of streets. The city has a population of about 200,000 people and is at an elevation of 2800m. The expedition team has spent the last two days here buying food supplies for the trip to Mt. Geladandong. Tomorrow, we will take a jeep to Yushu, a town in the southern part of Qinghai province. The elevation there is around 4600m. The drive will take about 10 hours and will take us through the beautiful areas of the Northern Tibetan Plateau.