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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Ellis Glacier at 600 meters
Mike sets up to film
Crevasse field on the way to 600m
More rough terrain
Almost there - still rough
600 meter drill site

Route and site map
Date: Sunday, March 6th 2005
Time: 10:30 pm
Location: S 54.78676 W 69.56073
Temperature: 10°C 50°F
Wind speed: 10 mph8.7 knots
Wind chill:
Altitude: 300m
Weather: Sunny and Clear

Today we got an early start; we packed light and hiked up to 600m elevation with the camera equipment, drilling gear, and sampling apparatus. The weather was very kind, as we did not get a drop of rain or flake of snow all day. We filmed the drilling and recovery of a reconnaissance core, collected a few surface snow samples and then hiked back down to the 300m camp.

We encountered some serious crevasse fields on the way up that required a lot of doubling back in order to find a safe route, luckily we packed light! This kind of travel does not sound like much fun, but the sheer magnitude of this place is truly awe-inspiring. The drilling site was spectacular, situated at the base of a large icefall and flanked either side by towering snow-capped peaks (one of which was Mount Darwin) that sent deep rumbling echoes down the valley every five minutes or so (as a result of the frequent avalanches).

Tomorrow we plan to move the 300m camp back down to the old base camp site. It will probably take us at least a few days to get all the gear back down. As I finish writing this day’s log, the temperature is dropping and some rain is starting to fall, what will tomorrow’s weather bring?

What a crevasse  Getting ready to take a core  View at the drill site  Crossing the crevasses  The line up  Dan on the Ellis Glacier

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