A Christmas Wish Granted

January 3rd, 2012 by Patrick Lynch

By Lora Koenig

Byrd Station (Antarctica), 27 December — Randy had a strange Christmas list this year. He wanted the 50 knot winds to stop. Late on Christmas Day his gift arrived and the storm over West Antarctica broke. The team’s speedy progress was slowed down by the back-to-back storms, but on Christmas Day in the U.S. (December 26th in Antarctica) the team moved from Seat Camp 5 to the final camp, Seat Camp 6. On December 27th in Antarctica they drilled two ice cores to complete drilling for the season. In total they drilled 9 ice cores for a total length of about 180 meters of firn. If the weather holds, which judging by today’s satellite imagery it has, the team is snowmobiling back to Byrd Camp as I am writing this blog. I expect to hear shortly that they have arrived at Byrd. The hard part of the season is complete. Now clean up begins. A flight is scheduled to leave Byrd and go to McMurdo on the 29th and the team will try to get all the gear broken down, palletized and get most of the team members on that flight. A few people may need to stay behind to pick up the ice cores that are still buried in the snow at the camp locations. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather so the planes can get into Byrd and pick up the cached ice cores.

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Notes from the Field