Susan reports from the Tibetian Plateau:
We arrived on the Tibetan Plateau on the 13th and spent a day there to allow people to acclimatize because we were at about 14,600 feet. On Saturday, we began our journey off the highway towards Geladandong. We are traveling on rough roads over the permafrost. Our group consists of 2 trucks, and some jeeps. Our large truck has gotten stuck several times in the soft soils. We have already gone ahead with several jeeps to scout the way, and we think we should be able to get the trucks through to the campsites. Right now we are camped at 16,000 feet about 15 kilometers from our final destination.
Tomorrow morning when the ground is frozen, we will try again to go on. If the truck becomes stuck again, we will go on in with a few of jeeps to locate a drill site, set up camp and begin digging some snow pits. Our camp will be about 8 kilometers from our drill site.
It is very beautiful here as you can imagine. We have see some nomadic peoples traveling with their yaks, which was very interesting. We have also seen an abundance of wildlife, hawks, foxes and Tibetan antelope.
We are all doing well and send our greetings to everyone at home. I will try to report in again toward the end of the week.
Susan reports from base camp, Geladandong:
We arrived at our base camp on the 18th with all of our vehicles and equipment. We have spent the last couple of days hiking up the glacier to the drill site carrying the equipment and supplies. Bjorn and I almost made it all the way up yesterday before the snow became too deep. Today, Shichang and the porters went up with snow shoes and made it all the way in to the site at 19,000 feet. We will move more equipment tomorrow, and hope to have everything set up so that we can start drilling by Saturday evening. It's a lot of hard work hauling the equipment up the remaining distance to the drill site, and we are all a bit tired, but feeling fine and anxious to get to work.
It is beautiful up here, and we are seeing quite a bit of wild life. There are yaks and many huge hawks soaring around. The dogs from a nearby village have begun to come around to visit us. They are very shy, but I made friends with one of them, so I am getting some doggy affection. (For those who do not know me, I really love dogs, and miss my buddy Forest very much.) We know these dogs are from the village because they all wear a Tibetan collar which is very colorful and has fringe.
Tonight we had a bit of a celebration. Sunday is my birthday, and since we will be rather busy, the crew fixed a lovely dinner for me including wonderful dumplings and even a cake. We sang songs and did the "Hokey Pokey" after dinner.
It is snowing now, and we need to get some rest. Another big day tomorrow. We will check in again early next week.