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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A good view of the rocks
And more gear to dry
Sun setting over  Ellis Glaier
An ice falls on the Ellis Glacier

Route and site map
Date: Tuesday, March 8th 2005
Time: 10:00 pm
Location: S 54.77378 W 69.59059
Temperature: 12°C 54°F
Wind speed: 5 mph
Wind chill:
Altitude: 12m
Weather: Sunny

Woke up this morning to the sound of precipitation on the tent, I waited a while until it stopped and then went out to brush my teeth. To my surprise, there was about 6 inches of snow on the ground. This is not good as it will make the trip down more hazardous than usual. Everyone roused early and packed up the camp ready for descent, we left one tent up with some food in it as an emergency precaution for the second trip back up to collect the rest of the gear. We loaded ourselves up with back-breakingly heavy loads and set off down the glacier. The lead person used poles to probe the snow in front of him and everyone else followed in single file. After a few hours of staggering down the glacier, we arrived back at base camp. To our astonishment, our local grey fox had paid the campsite a visit in our absence and left us with several nasty surprises where our tents had been!

We rebuilt our camp in a clean new spot and said goodbye to Mike. Charlie had turned up in the Zodiac to transport him, his camera, and his personal gear back to Ocean Tramp. Paul, Erich, Andrei, Scott, and I are staying at base camp in order to make another trip up to the 300m site in the morning to collect the drill, tent, and remaining gear.

Later on in the afternoon the sun started to shine with gusto, soon the trees and rocks had sprouted loads of wet gear! I even plucked up the courage to take a quick dip in the glacier outwash stream. The dip seemed like a good idea to begin with, but after less than 30 seconds in the outwash water I had lost all feeling in my feet; it was so cold! It took me three or four dips to get all clean. Thankfully, the sun continued to shine and it warmed the feeling back into my poor little feet.

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