Field and CPL Updates

2009-2010 Antarctica

November 2, 2009
Update provided by Matthew Kippenhan
project update image
The arch at WAIS Divide. Photo: Theresa Tran

The put-in team, led by camp manager Theresa "T" Tran, arrived yesterday (November 2, local time) at WAIS Divide via Basler (5.5 hour direct flight from McM) after 10 days of weather delays. Onsite temperature was -49 degrees C. Skiway is in good shape and should be able to accept LC-130 Hercules flights within a couple of days after a good grooming and touchups are completed.

Good news is all cargo, modules, and equipment wintered well with minimal drifting allowing them to get the CAT 953 and one Tucker up and running in record time. Our experiment with wintering over the power poles and service cable worked fine, but the poles did create significant drifting that will need to be groomed down. The arch is as expected - still buried with some new winter drifting.

The overall schedule remains behind by 10 days at this point, however, once the carpenter crew arrives and camp construction gets started in the next several days, T will be able to better evaluate the schedule and any opportunities to get it back on track. For now, expect equal delays in any major activities scheduled for WAIS Divide until further notice. There is still a long way to go before any basic structures are up and running to accommodate additional persons.