• Boring holes

    A major part of MIDAS’ field programme involves investigating the internal structure and physical properties of the Larsen C Ice Shelf, and in particular how these properties are influenced by the presence of intermittent surface melt ponds. In order to measure the shelf’s 3D temperature, via thermistor strings, and density, via optical televiewer logging, we first need to gain access to its interior.

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  • Across the ice to Camp C

    So, after three tent-bound days (I finished reading Anna Karenina!), plus one further day of digging out sledges and skidoos, we finally set off for Camp C yesterday. After a 6:30 am rise we were finally ready to set off just before noon. Initially, the low cloud and drifting snow meant that it was like travelling inside a ping pong ball, but when the sun came out, the surface sparkled like diamonds, and we could enjoy the ride. Heading west, away from the mountains of the peninsula and towards the ocean, we travelled for over eight hours.

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  • Preparing to move

    We are coming to the end of the work at the first camp and next need to move a hundred kilometers downflow towards the edge of the ice shelf. The move will be a major logistics exercise: tents to take down, equipment to pack and a very long day’s travel, seven people on four skidoos with lots of sledges behind. For this we need very good weather and the forecast tomorrow is for 45 knot winds!

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  • Sunburn and spam

    Adam arrived in camp yesterday with the rest of the kit, so now we are the Magnificent Seven. It was a lonely feeling waving goodbye to the little red Twin Otter, knowing it would be another two weeks or so before seeing it again.

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  • Keeping warm

    Day 5 in the field and we are making progress, although the weather is slowing us down. It has been very windy: 25 knots last night with temperatures down to -25°C. In bed I have been wearing full long thermals, fleece trousers and top, a down jacket, two pairs of socks and a woolly hat. That’s before getting into a very thick down sleeping bag. A drinking bottle filled with boiling water makes a good hot water bottle.

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