Whitehorse, YT and Kluane Lake Research Station
This Project is supported by a generous grant from the
Dan and Betty Churchill Exploration Fund
July 6th to 24th, 2006
I was the last to arrive at the Divide site and therefore had the benefit of having camp already set up for me by the Ottawa students. The first two days in the field were spent digging the first four meters of the proposed five meter deep snowpit to be sampled at 5 cm intervals for snow chemistry. With six undergrads helping, it was relatively light work allowing us to dig an impressive two meters a day without resorting to a narrow confined shaft. With the relative speed of our work I was able to complete my sampling of the daysí digging during the late afternoon and early evening hours. This turned out to be important on July 12th when we received an evening snowstorm (our only inclement weather while on the icefield).
On the third day we trekked to the nunataks near our camp to download the meteorological data from a weather station there. On the way back I proceeded to return the favor of the digging provided by the Ottawa students by helping them in an exercise of ice depth sounding. The next two days were spent digging the final one meter and sampling of the snowpits, as well as digging down to the cooler containing the data logging equipment at the base of the snow depth sounder near camp. We spent the next two days charging the battery pack with a solar panel and attempting to download the data. After several unsuccessful tries we were forced to call in some help from Christian Zdanowicz of the Geological Survey of Canada, who was successful in downloading our data for us.
With the sampling complete and weather station data downloaded, we were then able to accomplish our final task of raising and securing the snow depth sounder weather station near camp. We were able to raise the sounder to 3.44 m above the current snow surface in anticipation of the accumulating snow over this upcoming winter. We then secured and sealed the cooler at the base of the pole. With the objectives of the field season we were free to spend the last day in camp hiking to the big nunatak 4 km from base camp. It was a spectacular climb with rewarding views of Mt. Logan and the surrounding glaciers.
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