Ulyana: On the Glacier

After days of trekking, we finally arrived to our field site at the Ngozumpa glacier at 4700 meters (~15,400 ft.).  The nights here have been quite cold and the lake where we work is already partially frozen.  From what we hear, it has been an unusually cold fall.  So, that means we have to be a bit creative when it comes to deploying our instruments.  Given this “in-between” state, where the ice is too thick to paddle through but too thin to walk on, we will attempt to drag the boat (which holds our equipment) across with ropes, while we are in our drysuits, guiding it.  In order to do our bathymetry (depth) survey, we will wait until the ice is thick enough to walk on, in a few weeks.  There is still plenty of other work to do, including setting up a meteorological station and taking spectral measurements of snow and ice to ground-truth what satellites see as they fly overhead.  The cold conditions and high altitude make this expedition one of the hardest I’ve led, but the challenges, really, are what also make it so rewarding in the end.


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