Abrupt Climate Change - Ice cores from Patagonia

NOAA This project is supported by a grant from NOAA, Office of Global Programs

Paul Mayewski, Andrei Kurbatov, Dan Dixon,
Erich Osterberg, UMaine
Charlie Porter, Patagonia Research Foundation and UMaine

Mike Ellis and Scott Mason, Stonehaven Productions, Canada
February 20, 2005 to March 22, 2005
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Fox at Base Camp
The fox gets closer
The fox checks us out
Drying gear
A serious pile of drying gear
Camping at 300 meters
Cooking Rock

Route and site map
Date: Saturday, March 5th 2005
Time: 11:00 pm
Location: S 54.78676 W 69.56073
Temperature: 10°C 50°F
Wind speed: 10 mph 8.7 knots
Wind chill:
Altitude: 300m
Weather: Sunny and Clear

While we ate dinner last night we had a visit from a naughty grey fox, the fox approached within about 5m of us before we scared it away. We most likely set up our camp right in its den. The naughty fox came back during the night and tried to chew its way into our food bin, luckily, it couldn’t chew through. It did manage to make a bit of a mess with our trash though.

The rain stopped at about 09:00 this morning and the sun began to shine, soon everyone had all their wet gear out and draped over nearby rocks and trees, it looked just like a laundry! By the time we were all dried out we had made the decision to pack up the base camp and move to the 300m site. It was a very slow climb as we were all carrying very heavy loads. We arrived at the 300m site by around 18:00 and began to set up camp immediately. Setting up tents on rock-covered ice is not easy, we had to dig out rocks with our ice picks, smooth out the ice surface as much as we could, and re-route melt water pathways away from our tents. We lay down space blankets beneath the tents to try and keep the floors from getting wet, but within minutes of setting them down they were soaked through anyway. We kept our spirits up with a nice hot cup of tea and some biscuits with cheese; we even cooked ourselves up some delicious bacon and ham.

Despite the surface conditions, this must be the most spectacular campsite that I have ever seen. As I prepare for bed I can see the Milky Way stretching clearly across the sky above me. I can hear the sound of waterfalls cascading down the steep rock face behind me and the occasional rumbling thunderclap of the calving glacier on the opposite wall of the valley. We were very lucky that it did not rain all day; I just hope that the weather holds out for our trek up to 600m tomorrow.

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