Wednesday, April 26, 2017

We made it to Kangerlussuaq!

Yesterday HP, Forrest, and Tate flew from New York to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. This is the first time that we are all together as a team!

Our flight to Kangerlussuaq was on a C-130 plane with skis
Karina trying to stay warm and catch up on sleep during the plane to Greenland
The traverse team consists of Karina Graeter and Gabe Lewis from Dartmouth College, Tate Meehan and HP Marshall from Boise State, and Forrest McCarthy (an all star mountaineer and safety rescue guru). A few weeks into the traverse, HP will be leaving and Bob Hawley (also from Dartmouth) will join us out on the ice for the remainder of the campaign.

Today we got busy with traverse preparations. The morning started out with a snow mobile and generator maintenance meeting. We are taking 5 snowmobiles out onto the ice with us. Three are 2-stroke machines (older and more powerful, but not comfortable to ride), and two are 4-stroke machines (newer, more fuel efficient, but complicated to fix if they brake down).
Forrest and HP taking a look at the snow mobiles. HP is working on mounting the ground penetrating radar antenna to the side of this snow mobile.

We spent the rest of the day organizing our gear. Polar Field Services did an awesome job getting much of our gear ready for us and storing items from last season. We set up and double checked all of our tents, sleeping cots, stoves, and kitchen gear. Tate and Karina washed up all the cookware, dishes, and tables to get them ready for the ice after they collected a bit of dust this winter. We organized our food into boxes to take with us at the beginning of the traverse and three cache sites (at Cores 9, 12, and 15) to be dropped off with extra snowmobile fuel next week. We hid Poptarts in each cache box so that we don't eat them all during the first week!

Some of our gear in the warehouse
Gear allocated to us by Polar Field Services including tents, cots, survival kits, medical kits, and tarps among many other items.

Tate and Karina washing the kitchen tables

Over the next few days we plan on packing up all our gear onto the ten (ten!) sleds we will be pulling alongside the two safety pods. We want to make sure that we can securely and neatly pack up all the science gear, personal gear, food, and fuel we will need for the next two months. Additionally, we will have meetings about safety and communication check-ins. If everything continues to run smoothly, we should have a day to rest up before heading up to Summit Station on May 1st!

We'll keep you updated on how the preparations progress!

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