A Visit to the Snow Pit

By Anna McKee | December 22, 2009 | 1 Comment

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 | 4 Comments

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 | 5 Comments

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 | 0 Comments

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 | 1 Comment

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 | 0 Comments

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 | 0 Comments

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.…

Waiting to go to WAIS

By Anna McKee | December 14, 2009 | 4 Comments

uh-oh!  The day of my flight, there is ground fog!  It is a bit hard to see in this photo, but look at that swath of purplish-blue between the mountains and the sea ice.  I am not due to go out until 14:15, so maybe this will burn off, but I suspect it is not…

Happy Camper continued. . .

By Anna McKee | December 13, 2009 | 0 Comments

The next day, I awoke early, so got the whisperlite stoves going and soon we had hot water for cocoa, instant coffee and oatmeal – yummy.  The rest of the morning went by quickly.  We broke camp and then practiced calling MacOps (radio into headquarters).  “MacOps, MacOps, MacOps – this is Happy Camper, do you…

Happy Camper School – Ross Ice Shelf – Day One

By Anna McKee | December 13, 2009 | 0 Comments

Friday morning I and nine other lucky souls began Happy Camper School with our very clever Kiwi (New Zealand) instructor Billy.  She is in the light green jacket.  Fortunately, it was a Ski Doo camping experience, so we didn’t have to haul our stuff out onto the Ross Ice Shelf, where we spent the next…