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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


We are there!

At 1600 GMT today, the traverse rolled into Troll Station, welcomed by the entire station crew and guests. It seems hard to grasp, but the field part of the Norwegian-American Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica 2007-2009 is completed. read more...


Science highlights of the 2008-09 season

As we approach Troll Station, we pause to summarize our activities and reflect on our accomplishments this season. read more...


Chores and language – Jeg ikke har lært å snakke språk.

I have aldri tried to lære or snakke another language – just bits and pieces when I travel because I think it is important to make the effort to at least say hello, yes please, no and takk. To learn another language to me would mean to be able to “tenke” in another språk. read more...


Loading the “Ivan Papanin”

Our science gear and ice cores are off the continent! The good ship “Ivan Papanin” took the cargo on board today, and hopefully it will all arrive safely in Cape Town for onwards shipment early next month. read more...


Into the ice

We learn a lot about the ice by sampling, drilling ice cores and reading radar profiles. That is not always enough. Sometimes we just have to take a walk inside it. read more...


Penguins, Ice Bergs, and Water, Oh My!

This evening, we arrived at the Troll Offload Site at the edge of the Fimbul Ice Shelf (Fimbulisen). After more than 2400 km of driving, we are one step closer to the end of our journey. read more...


Zen and the art of ice core drilling

It may sound simple – drilling holes in ice. It’s a relatively soft material, not like rock or metal after all. But there is a science and an art to drilling, in a material that is constantly changing from location to location, and from year to year and season to season. read more...


The Rock meets the mountains

After months travelling over a huge white expanse, our perfect horizon punctuated only on occasion by something more real than a day dream, the expectation of the approaching coastal mountains began to increase. read more...


Last science stop completed

Last evening, we finished packing our sleds at Site 7, and headed north towards the ice shelf at Fimbulisen. Site 7 was our last science stop, and we spent five days here on a variety of projects. read more...



In a flat calm and with the sun high in the sky, -30 C (-22 F) can feel quite balmy and even -40 C (-40 F) can be tolerable. A gale can turn those 40 degrees into a savage beast. read more...



In travelling past the great ice divide upon which Kohnen Station sits, we have moved into a new area of ice drainage, and a new local climate. We have entered the domain of the trolls. read more...


Return to Normalcy!

The drive onward from Recovery Lakes brought many welcome changes—the campsite, the scenery, and most importantly for me, the snow conditions! read more...


Cold creatures

Most humans adapt well to the altitudes and the temperatures we are working in, but the same cannot be said for our ”sled dogs”. The tracked vehicles and all other mechanical equipment require several adjustments and constant attention to work well on the Antarctic plateau. read more...


Kohnen Station

Our visit to Kohnen Station was a short one, as we arrived at 4 pm yesterday and were on the move again by 8 o'clock this morning. Kohnen Station itself may be but a brief human presence on the plateau – though with some significant scientific achievements on its record. read more...


Arrival at Kohnen Station

After 7.5 days of travelling, we have covered the 780km to Kohnen Station. It is amazing after seeing nothing but the plateau for weeks, to come across another outpost. read more...


Narrow tracks across the plateau

Riding our vehicles must be as comfortable a way of crossing the Antarctic plateau as anyone has experienced, with comfy seats, soft suspension, too good heaters and comparatively quiet cabins. Yet the traverse team’s favourite means of transportation seems to be a different and very old-fashioned one. read more...


One chance only

One of the hardest parts about working here in this vast remoteness is being able to let go. It is 50 years since a science team has visited this area of the Antarctic, and it may be 50 years till the next. How heartbreaking it is then to see equipment fail or components that just don't make the mark. read more...


Nothing serious…

On the traverse so far we have been spared medical problems of any kind. The most serious incident on the plateau was a sprained big toe after a descent down the ladder from the sleeping module, in bivouac boots and a little too swift. read more...


In good health?

The level of education is high on this traverse, and we have several doctors along. But there’s only one “doc”. Even though he has been quite busy in his job as field assistant to the other professionals, he has had little to do in his own field of work. read more...


Flat Snow Show

The snow surface at the Recovery Lakes is the flattest we’ve ever seen in Antarctica. But, if you look carefully, it tells a story about the weather, and the dryness of this continent. read more...

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