Thursday, December 5, 2013

Traverse Day 10 Update

Day 10 Progress:

Day 10 - 3 December 2013, 1330UT
Position reached: E 125° 23.287' S 70° 59.893'
Elevation: 2863 m
Distance covered so far: 846 km
Distance remaining: 506 km
Temperature (evening): -27 °C

A routine day, except that 95 km is better than we expected to cover. In
fact if it wasn't for some minor hiccoughs with getting the snow radar
running, we may have hit the 100km - a slightly sore point around camp in
a good humoured way.

We were going to drill a shallow core (10m or so) tonight as one of 2-3
short records to look at recent variability. As it happened, the surface
in the area we travelled through looked unsuitable for a good climate
record. It was marked by strong glazing from wind-drifted snow and
erosional features (scoured lumps and bumps) rather than nice depositional
drifts and sastrugi. Since exact location is less of an issue than getting
a good climate record, we will try at the next opportunity. Interestingly,
by the end of the day, the worst of the wind-glaze was past, and the
surface was improving, so maybe tomorrow.

Speaking of the area we traversed today, we were a little surprised that
the route passed through even higher elevation than yesterday, reaching
2889m at one point, and then decreasing slightly. The weather was cold
most of the day, -29°C with around 50km/hr winds at lunch time. Mercifully
it was milder by day's end when we were refuelling etc.

We are past half way in distance (as indeed we were yesterday), and with a
bit of continued good travel, arrival by mid next week is looking