May 29, 2017

Glacier Benito Journal: Departure – Sunday 16th April

Glacier Benito Journal: Departure - Sunday 16th April

The weather was still excellent for our final day for departure. I was tempted to stay one day longer but one should not tempt ‘fate’ even if the weather on Monday was going to be good.

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May 26, 2017

Gear has come a long way in 20 years

Gear has come a long way in 20 years

When I walked this same path 20 years ago, I averaged six miles each day. After a few weeks in 2017 of hiking the path of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, it seems easy to do 10 miles a day. Back then, sometimes my backpack weighed 60 pounds. I’m trying to keep it half that weight now. I started from Valdez with a load of 32 pounds. Most of the reduction is due to clever people who have engineered lighter gear because consumers wanted it, and because of breakthroughs in materials available to designers.

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Glacier Benito Journal: Winding Up – Saturday 15th April

Glacier Benito Journal: Winding Up - Saturday 15th April

First excursion in the morning was by Marcos and Olaf to Level II Finger Lower Cairn to measure its position using the Survey GPS. After that they moved to Level I Finger Lower Cairn to repeat the survey activity.

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May 25, 2017

Glacier Benito Journal: Crossing the Glacier and the Mavic Takes Off – Friday 14th April

Glacier Benito Journal: Crossing the Glacier and the Mavic Takes Off - Friday 14th April

The plan on Friday was conduct Mavic drone flying from the middle of Level II on the glacier. So at 0945, all five of us set off to point ‘403’.

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May 24, 2017

Glacier Benito Journal: Finding the Level Markers – Thursday 13th April

Glacier Benito Journal: Finding the Level Markers - Thursday 13th April

Day three started the same as day two. Clear sky, moon providing the illumination before dawn, a sharp frost and no wind! Johnny, Olaf and Mark remained in camp to try to get the X8 drone up and flying.

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May 23, 2017

Glacier Benito Journal: Preparing for Drone Flights – Wednesday, 12th April

Glacier Benito Journal: Preparing for Drone Flights - Wednesday, 12th April

Each morning’s activity started with Martin getting up at about 0730 to light the cookers. The ground and glacier were frosted. As soon as we left the tent, the condensation inside the tent also turned to ice which fell onto our sleeping bags and mattresses as we entered the tent again to get items required during the day.

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Greetings from Japan

Greetings from Japan

Hello everyone! A group of AGU staff, including me, are in Japan for the inaugural JpGU-AGU joint meeting. We landed Friday afternoon and took a half-hour bus ride into Chiba where the meeting is being held.

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May 22, 2017

Glacier Benito Journal: Arriving on Ice – Tuesday 11th April

Glacier Benito Journal: Arriving on Ice - Tuesday 11th April

The first of six magical days on the ice…

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May 19, 2017

Glacier Benito Journal: Execution

Glacier Benito Journal: Execution

The team was arriving. Meanwhile snow was falling with it settling down to 500 m above sea level (absl). Had winter started early?

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May 18, 2017

Lots of quiet time in the Big Lonely

Lots of quiet time in the Big Lonely

I walked around the chain-link fence of Pump Station 12 of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, apprehensive about the human encounter to come. It was time to send a weekly column. I needed a Wi-Fi signal or a cellular bar or two. I had walked more than a week through air devoid of communications waves.

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