Greenland Aquifer Expedition: Snowy Easter in KulusukApril 8th, 2015 by Clément Miège
Greetings from Kulusuk and Happy Easter! The Easter Bunny made a short trip to Kulusuk this morning and we happily found some chocolates at the hotel!
Otherwise, our team is not on the ice sheet yet because of the bad weather we are experiencing. Today, it is snowing continuously and the visibility is poor–it’s impossible to fly a helicopter in those conditions. We are patiently waiting for a break in the weather to be able to fly out to our field camp.
On Friday we spent a few hours in the village of Kulusuk, about a 20-minute walk from the hotel. We got our remaining supplies for the field, propane, and food, at the local store and walked around for a bit.
On Saturday, the weather was better. But because the Air Greenland B-212 helicopter was busy with commercial flights, we decided to go on a hike to the old DYE site, about 8 km south from the hotel. The DYE-4 site is located on a hill south of the village of Kulusuk and overlooking the ocean, giving us a great viewpoint to look at both sea ice and mountains. Historically, the DYE sites were built by the Americans during the Cold War, and were equipped with long-range radars to provide an early warning for potential missiles.
It seemed like a great goal for a Saturday afternoon hike. After a few hours, we made it to the final ridge, with skis or on foot, leading to the old station. This last stretch was quite entertaining because of extensive patches of blue ice on the ridge that we had to walk across. The ice is formed due to a combination of strong winds and accretion. To make it even more interesting, the ice was hiding underneath a few inches of fresh snow. So we ended up sliding quite a bit and even the edges of the skis were not sharp enough! True dust on crust conditions!
Up there, the views were fantastic. The radar station was removed but a few other buildings remained and some newer antennas were built for communication means. You can find below a few photos of the hike.
Today is Easter but with the good amount of fresh fallen snow, we could have gotten confused with Christmas! We finished preparing a few things and we are more than ready to go now. According to the DMI forecast, our future is not too promising, unfortunately. It is supposed to keep snowing until Tuesday morning, but the weather should improve! So we keep our fingers crossed! Again, happy Easter to everyone!