Climbing up for snow samples

These last days were really nice, the sun was shining literally 24/7 and we went to Ariebreen. The glacier has retreated pretty much in last decades and there is just a “leftover” of the former glacier. Thus, one must cross almost one kilometer over a moraine – not easy to walk on. A small lake has appeared just behind the push moraine from Little Ice Age. The glacier itself occupies the very upper part of the valley and is pretty steep. We took samples for snow water equivalent measurement and also to assess sediment concentration in the surface layer of the snow.

Wednesday we climb up on Fugleberget – not the main peak, but one of the smaller ones. There was a nice continuous snow field from the foot of the hill up to the summit, so we took snow samples in the altitude gradient to see the changes in amount of sediment trapped on the surface of the snow and also its chemical composition. The whole mountain is one big colony of a little auk, so we tried to avoid climbing in the populated parts of the slope. But the birds were almost everywhere, also surprisingly there were lot of reindeers on the steep rocky slopes. The view from the top was fantastic, we were able to see most of the Hornsund fjord.

The weather is getting worse today (Thursday), so we spent the whole morning in the lab working on the samples from previous days. We went outside just for 2 hours walk, to finish the transect of snow samples from Fugleberget. I checked the discharge, still not a big change, so no need to measure it. It is starting to rain a bit, so perhaps later there will be more water coming down from the slopes and it will be worth measuring.

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