Snowed-in Again

Currently, the Sierra Nevada in California is getting a good “snowing”. For a week already, I am not able to get out. Even if the snow would magically disappear, there are numerous branches and trees laying on the road (dirt road to start with, really).




The snowing-in gives me the opportunity to show some old photos from 2008, when I was in the Antarctica doing good old research. Also there, after wanting to leave the West Antarctic Ice Shelf, it took 2 weeks for an airplane to get through, partially due to bad weather.

Here, I am arriving at McMurdo on Ross Island. The plane landed on the frozen ocean. So, under the feet is a thick layer of ice and then ocean.

After we did our survival training, instruments check, etc., we left McMurdo to fly to the West Antarctic Ice Shelf. At the location we camped, the elevation was about 2000 meters, with an ice-layer of 3000 meters below us. Here, a photo of our research luxury tent, in the distance, the blue spot. Since we did air measurements, we needed to stay away from the main camp, where an Ice-Core Drilling was underway, all the way through the ice.

Inside the tent, we had all sorts of instruments and a heater, to keep everybody not too cold. An a warm day, it was -30C, which is about -30F. Because of the low levels of stuff we were measuring, only home-made instruments where sensitive enough to detect what we were looking for. Even so the instruments look kinda glued together, they were top-of-the-line.

Finally, when the plane arrived, a quick photo of the funny guys. In this camp, there where about 40 people and a bulldozer. The bulldozer was used to push the snow away from the tents.

And here, finally, the air plane is arriving for pickup. Pilots don’t leave the plane and the engines are running while unloading and loading.

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