Field and CPL Updates

2008-2009 Antarctica

December 2, 2008
Update provided by Dr. Kendrick Taylor
project update image
The damaged auxiliary board of the Caterpillar D4. Photo: Raytheon Polar Services

Operations are progressing slowly. RPSC has the camp up and running, but problems with the Cat 953 (tracked forklift) and Tucker have reduced our ability to move cargo and snow. Compounding the issue is a recent 100 hour period of wind and drifting that obliterated much of the digging that RPSC had already completed. RPSC is trying to get another mechanic and equipment operator to WAIS Divide to help deal with the equipment and drifting. All of the SCO crew and most of the drill crew are in McMurdo. We have endured the endless required training classes and briefings, are tired of being crammed into stuffy windowless and crowded dorm rooms with half a dozen other people, and are ready to go to the field. Geoff Hargreaves (NICL- USGS) is at WAIS Divide. Jay Johnson and I are hoping to get out in a day or so. The rest of the crew should get out soon after that. Considering what the weather has been and the equipment difficulties, I am expecting the delays to continue.

We appreciate the positive attitude of the RPSC staff, especially those that helped us get through McMurdo quickly by scheduling additional classes. For those of us that have been coming down for a while, it is good to catch up with our polar buddies that we have known for years. For the newbies, there is the excitement of being on the Ice for the first time.