Thursday, December 12, 2013

Aurora Basin North Update December 11

Update: December 11 2013, 1230UT
Position reached: E 111° 22.091' S 71° 09.922'
(final traverse van position, 150m from ABN drill site)
Elevation: 2677 m (* see below)
Temperature (evening): -18 °C

Today was a busy day and gave us plenty of exercise to make up for the
sedentary long days in the tractors on traverse.

Unfortunately the weather continued to hamper things somewhat with very
poor visiblity at times and periods of wind. We did get the 2km long skiway
limits marked out. The wind had shifted from its somewhat easterly position
during the bad weather of the last day or two, and was more aligned with
the SE direction expected from the old automatic weather station records.

The weather did not mean we got to sit around lounging though - we made
good progress on unpacking containers (hence the exercise), working our way
throught the 30 tonnes or so of gear. We emptied one container and made a
good start on a second. Cranes on the tractors helped with some heavy
items, but many heavy items had to be manually handled and pushed around on
small sleds. We also put up the first of the large tents (14x24 feet in
the old measurements), which took some effort in the wind. This tent will
house the generators, but at the moment is a general staging-post for gear
that comes out of the container.

Our IPEV colleagues are giving us tremendous assistance with all the camp
and skiway preparations.

Tomorrow the work will continue - we will see what the weather does and
adapt. At the moment we have a very pleasant, still evening!