It turns out it’s pretty hellish trying to pack for the Arctic during the UK’s hottest June day since 1976… not to mentioning in an office that lacks opening windows or air-con!
Nevertheless, after several hours of to-ing and fro-ing around the buildings of Aberystwyth University, an ensemble of ideas of what to pack finally materialized into four large hold bags and my hand luggage. With thoughts of woolly socks and Primaloft jackets still making me wince, it was time to cram it all into my car and start my journey (north-) east.
Tonight, I travel to Sheffield where I’ll be spending a few days working before meeting with PhD student Aliyah Debbonaire (@Gnarliyah) at Manchester Airport on Thursday and making our way towards Tarfala Research Station.
News from Torbjörn who manages the station is that they have been having “snow-mixed rain” with no signs of summer yet and there are “snowpatches are meter thick with bare ground between”. I’m hoping that summer kicks in fast over the next week or so, so that the Storglaciären’s surface becomes exposed and we can gain access to the biological life that survives on it soon. Fingers crossed!!
ps just seen Tarfala Research Station‘s latest Facebook post and it looks like the snow melt might be on our side after all. Here is a snap from 2 days ago. While all of Storglaciären’s surface seems snow covered still (unlike the area circled in red on the neighboring glacier), I’d say we’re on track for exposed surfaces soon… I’m still keeping those fingers crossed though!