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Norwegian-American Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica

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Expedition Diary

An inventory of daily impressions from the field


Meanwhile, at Lake Z

While you have been reading about the adventures of our last days at Site 5, Recovery Lake B, we have been quietly moving on to establish and conclude yet another science site, at the elusive Lake Z. read more...


Captive in ice

We had fetched and reconnected the cable going down to the lost drill, but the drill itself was still frozen solidly into the ice at 92 meters. Technically the way to get it loose was simple: Just pour down some litres of ethanol and let it work on the ice for an hour or so to turn it to slush. There was only one problem: We had no ethanol. read more...


The Ice gives, the Ice takes

Ice core drilling can be challenging, which has been proven in abundance by some events unfolding over the last week. It all started last Sunday, when our planned 120 meter hole at Recovery Lake B was well underway. At 91 meters, we exchanged a “high five” as the drill whirred below the deepest hole of the previous season. Continuing on past 92 meters everything seemed perfectly normal until…SNAP!! read more...


Cleaning snow

Our lead dog Lasse discharged 60 litres of hydraulic oil the other day. It happened while driving, and the oil was neatly spread out over 300 meters of snow. Such should not be on what is supposed to be the cleanest continent on our planet – but how to clean 300 meters of snow? read more...


Happy sun-day

Tromsø, the home town of the Norwegian Polar Institute, is seeing the sun again today, for the first time in two months. “Mørketida”, the polar night, is over and there will be celebrations. Here in the sunny south we are happy to join in. read more...


Ripple in still water…

when there is no pebble tossed, and unfortunately, plenty of wind to blow. read more...


Site NUS08-5 – well known by now

An Antarctic traverse leaves scant time for idling. The science plan is drawn to make the most of this costly time, there is work to do at all times, and even the keenest scientist will fall into that blank gaze every now and again. The best medicine may be to look back and impress ourselves with what we have achieved. Here’s our boast list for NUS08-5. read more...


It’s the snow, stupid!

…that determines many factors for this traverse, that is. read more...


Report from the Rock

I thought it was about time I gave a diary up-date from the deep radar hut, otherwise known as The Rock. Despite the name, I can assure you I consider myself to be travelling in style. read more...


Eat and be healthy!

During the planning of the traverse, it emerged quite early on that we should take along some food. In fact this was the first, and I believe the only proposal forwarded by any participant that was totally agreed upon. Not that we have had a high level of disagreement between us, but this single proposal was met with absolute, complete and unreserved support. read more...


The quest for Joe Dip

For the last two days five of us have been out on a little camping trip. Einar, Kirsty, Anna, Ted and I left the homey comforts of our main camp to go searching for a trough. read more...


All About the Lakes

We've now been in the Recovery Lakes area for more than a week, and will be here for the next two weeks. It has been mentioned that these lakes seem to play an important role in the fast flow of the Recovery Ice Stream, and that they are one of the important parts of our science activites this season. But what exactly are these lakes? Are they really like regular lakes found elsewhere in the world? How could there be a lake under an ice sheet? How many of these are there? How do we know what we know about them? read more...


Visitors by air

On January 8-9, the Norway-USA traverse was visited by a film crew making a documentary about life and science in the polar regions. read more...


‘Tour of the Time Zones’; Living the Polar Dream 26/7

When we left the South Pole we were operating on New Zealand time, which is 12 hours ahead of Norway and 20 ahead of US Mountain Standard time. Moving towards Troll Station, which operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) during the summer, we’ve had to decide on how to adjust our local traverse time. read more...


Heavy traffic at the Recovery Lakes

We believed ourselves to be alone on the Plateau! For almost three weeks we have been seeing nothing but snow and wide horizons. But after a few hours of driving today the radio crackled. It was our ”lead dog” Stein calling: ”Stopping to take pictures of some ski tracks!” read more...


Gravity Rocks

One of the new geophysics studies we’re doing this year on the Recovery Subglacial Lakes side traverses is measuring gravity read more...


Group missed

Camp felt small and quiet today. Stein, Anna, Kirsty, Ted and Einar have been out on the first of many “side traverses” – 80 kilometre Radar and gravimetric survey. read more...


Farewell 2008, Welcome 2009!

Between two long driving days we stopped our work and popped the champagne just before midnight as some of the first people on the planet (GMT +13) starting the year 2009. read more...


How not to become a “crevasse bait”

Our lead dog Lasse is pushing the crevasse radar ahead with its long snout. I am sitting in the cab 6 meters behind the antenna, reading the screen in real-time to spot reasons for alarm. Mostly it shows nothing but horizontal layers in the snow, and the show gets tedious in a matter of minutes. But today I was in for more excitement. read more...


Sastrugi Land

Went skiing this morning. I woke to a stunning sight: half the sky was displaying 15 values of aqua blue and the other half was a dark stormy ominous blue-gray. read more...

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