Field and CPL Updates

2006-2007 Antarctica

October 30, 2006
Update provided by Matthew Kippenhan
project update image
The WAIS Divide field camp shortly after the put-in flight. Photo: Raytheon Polar Services


The camp staff safely made it into WAIS Divide a couple of days ago. The large berm that the modules and equipment were staged on filled in heavily so according to field observations but held it ground. The galley, washroom, and mechanic's shop all wintered well (drifted) but were dry inside. All three pieces of heavy equipment suffered winter over failures, but the team has been able to get two of the machines up and running to perform limited activities. Additional parts for the Tucker are being ordered for an immediate delivery (leaf springs), a field repair has been made to allow for skiway grooming to begin. McMurdo is supporting the other equipment parts.

The arch wintered well, end walls took one full day to access via shovels. The outside wall (away from the camp) was drifted in heavily. Snow is reaching near the top of the small arch and 1/2 up the tall arch as expected but not desired after the first winter. There is also a trailing drift downwind form the arch that is long and tall. Approximately 150+ yards in length, unsure height.

I am expecting pictures to come from the camp in the next week and will forward. Current temperatures are -46 F. Camp construction crew is due to WAIS Divide on Thursday to begin erecting the camp structures.