Christmas at WAIS

By Anna McKee | December 27, 2009 |

December 27th, 2009 WAIS Divide Camp at 79.47°S latitude, 112.06°W longitude – high on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Plateau. Holidays – Why They Might Need To Be Special In the days leading up to Christmas, I was a bit ambivalent about celebrating; it seemed remote and abstract. I was enjoying the lack of commercialism…

Christmas Eve in Antarctica

By Anna McKee | December 24, 2009 |

December 24, 2009 WAIS Divide Camp at 79.47°S latitude, 112.06°W longitude – high on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Plateau. To all of my friends, family and colleagues- Have a wonderful holiday. WAIS field camp is taking the day off tomorrow with many festivities planned. There will be cookie decorating, hors d’oeuvres, a big feast…

The Road to Byrd – What are all these flags?

By Anna McKee | December 23, 2009 |

WAIS Divide Camp at 79.47°S latitude, 112.06°W longitude – high on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Plateau. Yesterday morning I took off on a snow machine driven by the fabulous GA (general assistant) Sucha, to get beyond view of camp. We planned to follow the route to Byrd Field Camp, marked by flags every 1/4…

A Visit to the Snow Pit

By Anna McKee | December 22, 2009 |

WAIS Divide Camp at 79.47°S latitude, 112.06°W longitude – high on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Plateau. Today I went out the snow pit made earlier in the season by John Fegyveresi. He and Anais Orsi were going to dig it out from the last storm and I hitched a ride. Ice scientists make snow…

Sleeping at the WAIS Field Camp

By Anna McKee | December 21, 2009 |

December 21, 2009 – Happy Solstice WAIS Divide Camp at 79.47°S latitude, 112.06°W longitude – high on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Plateau. Although there are segregated jamesways (a jamesway is a Korean era, modular arch tent with a wooden framework) to sleep in, they are generally overheated, and not very private. We all share…

Ash in the Ice Core!

By Anna McKee | December 19, 2009 |

WAIS Divide Camp at 79.47° S latitude, 112.06° W longitude – high on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Plateau. The wind finally abated somewhat during the day on Friday. I took another grid walk in the morning – with similar results. The combination of flat light and drifting obscured my way and made an even…

Getting Water at WAIS

By Anna McKee | December 18, 2009 |

WAIS Divide Camp at  79.47° S latitude, 112.06° W longitude – high on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Plateau. Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. There are 40 or so people in camp who all need drinking and cleaning water.  There is no excess of H2O, but it is all inconveniently frozen. …

Dec 17th – Morning at WAIS Camp

By Anna McKee | December 17, 2009 |

WAIS Divide Camp at 79.47°S latitude, 112.06°W longitude – high on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Plateau. Wind speed 18-23knots, temp -18 degrees C, 1 mile visibility. This morning I noticed very unusual drifting patterns created by footsteps. The steps compact the snow and over time the wind blows away the surrounding snow leaving these…

Visiting the Drilling Arch

By Anna McKee | December 16, 2009 |

WAIS Divide Camp at 79.47S latitude, 112.06W longitude Wednesday, December 16th Hi Everybody, Today the wind picked up and I am now experiencing conditions unlike I have ever felt before. The wind is at about 20knots, so the temperature feels much colder. I must cover all of myself in order to stay outside for more…

The Journey to WAIS

By Anna McKee | December 14, 2009 |

This post is coming to you through a low bandwidth GOES satellite, in plain text email, set up by my very clever niece Christine (thanks!!) Monday, December 14th – I flew in a LC-130 or “Herc” to the WAIS Divide Camp at 79.47S latitude, 112.06W longitude – high on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Plateau.…