Friday, June 30, 2006

Wednesday, 28th June: The great journey by sled to Station Nord.

This is where all the ice core boxes are buried.

This is our cargo line.

Everybody is up at 0300 and before breakfasr we all take our tents down (North Face 12' domes). Breakfast consists of muesli, bread and cheese, Parmaham and a good cup of coffee. Personal equipment of the first four to go (Sigfus, Steini, Bo and Steff) is strapped down on the two Nansen sledges along with the Kansas internet equipment, and at 0430 Sverrir and Lars drive off with the first crew to Station nord. The snow is very wet, soft and heavy. The drive down off the ice cap is quite unnerving since
the snow is so slick that the snow mobiles have no way of stopping during the decent. The terrain outside the ice cap is only partly covered with snow, which is so soft, that the unfortunate one who steps off the sleds sinks in to the hips in soaking wet snow. The trip is done without incidents, except for Sigfus who falls off the sled and takes a few rolls in the snow.
While the first team in on the way, the second team takes down the kitchen weatherport.and packs the last items. Sverrir and Lars are back in camp at 1100. With the sledges and snow mobiles we move the last cargo into the cargo line, where we now have lined up 101 pieces of cargo. Together with the 39 crates of ice core which are buried in the snow we have a total of 9219 kg cargo. We have to leave this cargo behind until we get opportunity to pick it up by Twin Otter airplane or helicopter.
There is less load on the second trip which has to occur during the warmest part of the day; but we reach Station Nord safe and sound at 1500. We are received in a fantastic way by the four Station Nord people (Svend, Thomas, Kim and Claus) and a bone weary crew eats supper and try to be in a celebration mood in the bar until the eyes simply close on their own. We will take revenge tomorrow!

Weather: It has been white out by fog all day and no wind.
Temperatures: -2 to +2 C.

We are so glad that we mapped out the route on GPS on Monday. Otherwise we would not have been able to navigate down in conditions with zero contrast and visibility.


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