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Settling in at Summit

SUMMIT CAMP, GREENLAND– On Friday, we had to say goodbye to Tom, who was only up at Summit for the week to run radar profiles between the site where we drilled an ice core last year and where we will dig a snow pit this year. The radar helps us to determine how much the snow varies across the 5 kilometers that separate the two sites.

Our team: (from left) me, Elyse (Hamilton), Kristina (Bowdoin), Maria (Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany), and Tom (University of Vermont.)

Before Tom left, we took a team photo in front of our office space, The Tomato (or Apple, or Space Station….we haven’t quite decided on a name yet. Any suggestions?) Our office space is a bubble-like fiberglass shelter on skis that can be moved around camp and used for various purposes. Right now, we get to use it for office space, using our computers and the wireless internet (!) that is in almost all of the buildings at camp.

The team showing off the back of our ’snow freak’ t-shirts in front of our mobile office.

Watching the LC-130 ski-equipped Hercules (Herc) aircraft land at Summit is always an event. It’s just such a surreal site watching this large plane land on a snow runway (the skyway). The skyway is constantly maintained by the staff up at Summit, and makes a nice, smooth place to ski. It’s almost totally flat up here, with no hills, but there are many small-scale bumps in the snow called sastrugi. These are snow dunes that are caused by wind, and do not make for easy skiing.

The Herc heading towards the skyway.

The nose of the Herc. Look closely at the bottom right to see the skis the plane uses to land.

The next flight is not for another few weeks. It is always a little scary to watch a plane take off and know you that you will be staying put for a while with no other way of getting home. But things are going well here, the weather is good, and we are getting all of our equipment ready to start digging our first big pit!

Transporting people and gear to and from the skyway.
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5 Responses »

  1. Explo crew in Barrow thinks the red hut looks like a big, red nose. Rudolph, anyone?

  2. Looks like a vienna sausage truck to me. mmmm…vienna sausages…

  3. Nice buns!

  4. Your office looks like a ladybug! Hugs from j and b!!

  5. Looks like big red to me.