Dan and Betty Churchill Exploration Fund
Arzhan Surazakov and Dan Joswiak, UIdaho
Susan Kaspari and Bjorn Grigholm, UMaine
July 16, to August 6, 2005
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Bjorn, Dan and I made it to Dushanbe without a hitch last night- all of our bags made it, and customs was a breeze. We met up with Vladimir and Arzhan last night and went to the Hotel Tajikistan and had a good meal. Today we've been exploring town. When we came out of the hotel there was a man with a bear on a leash- the bear had a muzzle on. Today is a big market day, so we walked to the market- tons of really beautiful fruits, vegetables, spices and bread. We enjoyed a nice lunch on the second story of an open air restaurant with really great murals, and watched a wedding going on across the street.
Tomorrow we're going to meet with the US embassy to establish some contacts. Tuesday Vladimir will meet with the Tajik Academy of Sciences, and Wednesday we'll head to the mountains for some acclimatization. We're having a great time.
Monday, July 18, 2005
The morning began with an early breakfast and a meeting with the expedition cook who will be accompanying us to Fedchenko Glacier. As a group we discussed the various types of food and drink we would bring into the field. It's very important to have the proper nutrients and calories when living a cold, high altitude environment. It's also nice to have food you think tastes good! It didn't take us too long to decide and everyone was satisfied.
Afterwards, Susan and I dug into our packs and took out the ropes, carabiners, and harnesses and reviewed glacier travel and crevasse rescue techniques. Travelers on a glacier must be very careful of hidden dangers beneath the snow cover. If the area has not been examined and probed for crevasses all travelers should be roped up to avoid falling in one. Dan and Arzhan have been busy preparing the data logger for the meteorological station. When we return to our hotel, Susan and I will continue reviewing glacier travel and rescue techiques. Tomorrow, we will most likely begin our acclimatization in the mountains, north of Dushanbe.