|Before: April 28 (photo - Forrest McCarthy)|
|After: June 5 (photo - Forrest McCarthy)|
After waking up this morning we relaxed in the Summit buildings, ate some fresh fruit and drank real, non-powdered, milk, and enjoyed not having to huddle on a tote box when eating as the wind howls against the tent. Most of the crew showered and put on clean clothes that we had shipped up to Summit from Kanger, nearly 5 weeks ago. The atmosphere inside was quite happy and engaged as we recounted tales to the awestruck staff and scientists at Summit, confused as to who these smelly-beardy-goofballs were that appeared in the middle of the night without a plane. For us, it was quite bizarre to be surrounded by other people (remember that it had just been us 5 for the past 5 weeks straight, with only one flock of birds and a few overhead planes to break the solitude) who didn't laugh at our inside jokes or suddenly burst into song at the mention of Pitch Perfect. Not only were there other people, but the Big House has couches (so much softer than our snowmobile cushions), laundry machines, internet, electricity, and a small smattering of plants growing in the windowsill.
|Tate dismantling the science sled in front of the Summit Big House|
|Erich happily moving into an Arctic Oven in Tent City, Summit|
I volunteered (or was voted off the ice sheet - still not sure) to hop on a small Twin Otter plane to pick up the caches we had left behind at Cores 3, 5 and 7. So only 12 hours after arriving at Summit I was off again to dig out our ice cores and load the empty fuel barrels into the plane. I've never before had a plane filled with only the pilot, co-pilot, and myself, so I felt like a rock-star as we covered that same 400 km in 1.5 hours that had taken us 18 hours the day before. We carefully dug up the ice core boxes and loaded them into the plane - knowing that it was a race against time before they turned into a very expensive puddle on the floor. We miraculously took off with an extra few thousand pounds of gear and headed back to Kangerlussuaq, flying over spectacular melt ponds and crevasses that we had avoided on our snowmobile traverse. I was ecstatic that I saw a few crevasses at the exact locations that my algorithm predicted they would be!
|Trying to figure out how all that gear (plus 5 ice core boxes) will fit into that tiny plane|
|The view from the back of the plane, where I was happily squished for the two hour flight back to Kanger|
|Looking at crevasses from the Twin Otter that we happily avoided during the traverse|
|My first site of land at the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet|
Sending warm, showered, well-fed greetings from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland