Weather is the Joe Biden of field work in the polar regions: you never know what it’s going to do (or say, in Mr. Biden’s case). Regardless of how we plan and rehearse, if nature decides to “let-‘er-rip,” we have to stand by and watch it blow, and begin again when the storm passes.
Though hoping to light out for the ice sheet ahead of a gathering storm, the Greenland Inland Traverse team spent the weekend at Thule Air Base, waiting out another mighty blow.
“Unfortunately it's been another day in town for all of us,” Robin Davies wrote on Saturday. ”Here in Thule the weather has been quite reasonable but up at the transition the clouds are down and it's blowing hard. We are thinking that the first break in the weather, the GPR team will head out for one more long day trip whilst the others get the wannigan, cargo and fuel sleds sorted and hooked up for us so that, weather permitting, we can leave the following day.”
This is very different than last Sunday, when weather was so relatively fair the team took a few hours off and visited the old village near the air base.
But that’s the way it goes. They’ll get out when they can.
“Keep your fingers crossed for us,” Robin writes. And restrain from the colorful language if you can.
The Greenland Inland Traverse is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). CH2M HILL Polar Services and Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratories are working together with the NSF to develop the traverse infrastructure and route. The 2010 spring traverse has several foci: find a safe overland route to Summit Station to help reduce logistical costs and environmental impacts of conducting research there; provide a research platform for scientists conducting field work in Greenland; optimize mobility by focusing on the sled/snow interface. For more field notes coverage of GrIT, click here.
Jay Burnside, Polar Field Services, CH2M HILL Polar Services