What a difference a day makes! This morning the sun was shining and the sky was bright blue. Today we have been completing a few logistical errands so that our camping trips can run smoothly.
We needed to pick up our crate from the harbour and buy some benzine for our camping stove. Akaaraq was very kind and took us down to the harbour so that we didn’t have to walk across town with our heavy and cumbersome crate. We were very pleased that it had arrived – sometimes it is not possible to tell in advance whether the crate will be there to greet you. Packed in the crate were all of the essentials for our trip – sample bags, rock sampling equipment, chocolate (and other food), sleeping bag, and moisturiser (the Arctic air can be a harsh mistress!).
We sat down with the map and planned our trip, day by day. Fortunately, with every trip we add in some additional days to account for possible bad weather – this means that even though we are a little bit delayed due to our prolonged stay in Aasiaat, we still have plenty of time to complete the work that we had intended.
We looked at the weather forecast and it seems that for the next few days the sunshine will remain, so we are planning on a four-day camping trip at the ice cap. We’re looking forward to getting started on some sampling!
In preparation for our camping trip we went on a short reconnaissance visit to Blaesedalen – the valley that we walk up to get to the ice cap. Last time we were here, it was often difficult to cross the meltwater river as it is so wide and often deep. There used to be a small wooden ‘bridge’ (actually a wooden pallet across a gorge), and we were so pleased this year when some of the other researchers told us that the pallete has been replaced with a genuine bridge, complete with hand rail, made from wood and concrete This will make our journey to the ice front much easier.
We spent the afternoon checking out the location of the bridge so that we know exactly where to walk tomorrow, and therefore can minimise unnecessary walking when we will have heavy rucksacks and equipment to carry.
We are really looking forward to starting our fieldwork in earnest! We will be back to the blog again in four days after our camping trip.