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McMurdo Station 2011

posted Nov 30, 2011, 11:22 AM by Ted Bibby   [ updated Feb 15, 2012, 7:02 AM ]

G-501 has landed. Our geomorphology field team has returned to McMurdo Station, Antarctica for our second year of field work and research. Our team left Grand Forks North Dakota on Nov. 26, 2011 and have literally been traveling for 4 days up until our arrival at McMurdo Station. The team is well and healthy. Jaakko and Collin are back to their old ways, eating as much as possible from the all you can eat buffet on station while Erin (our new team member) is learning the ropes along with trying to memorize the multitudes of code words and phrases used on station. Our flight left Christchurch around 8am with good weather, and 5 hrs. later delivered us to calm wind, clear skies and generally warm temperatures (-2 deg. C or 27 deg. F ). According to the pilot of the C-17, the ice runway is only about 6-7ft. thick this time of year and yet it can support the C-17 as well as a number of smaller aircraft. This Friday the ice-runway will be moved to another location with thicker and more permanent ice and soon McMurdo will have a clear view of the ocean, with seals and penguins swimming around.

We have a long journey ahead of us. We still need to organize and pack all of our field gear and food for the next 2 months before being dropped off in the Southern Transantarctic Mountains. Erin will go through "Happy Camper School" where she'll learn valuable survival skills while Jaakko, Dan, Collin and I attend a refresher course. After a week or more of packing and training and given good weather we will depart for our field sites. All is well and the station is a buzz. I'm excited to be back here, and the good weather makes it all the better.
(Collin, Jaakko and Erin representing UND)  
(View of Mount Discovery from McMurdo Station)

(View of Helo pad and lower wing of Crary Lab with the Transantarctic Mountains in  the distance)