Well, the title is, perhaps, not an oft-asked question … but one never knows. There very well could be someone out there Goggle’ing this very question. So, Thomas and I arrived to Thule, Greenland via ATI, or Air Transport International. It was actually quite a nice flight … windows at (nearly) every seat, snacks and drinks served, and your choice of “right” or “left” emergency exit. No, really … there were just two:
Now that we’re here, we’ve been assisting with traverse prep as well as sorting out our own science gear (more on that later). Some of the traverse pit includes the filling of huge fuel bladders (see previous post) as well as tying “tie points” to the various sleds and such:
The crew here is INCREDIBLY competent. Seriously. A laundry-list of “been there’s, done that’s” deftly mixed with hilarious humor and phat polar skills. The GrIT lead is “Swing Boss”. Robin Davies and Pat Smith are mechanic/operators on this traverse with storied pasts, such as doing a 2.5-year stint with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS; Robin) or seasons with the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2; Pat). Amazing! Galen Dossin is our designated mountaineer/do-everything’er (South Pole traverse anyone?). And these are just the folks who are rolling with us! Helping us get out the door are Kevin Emery, Shep Vail and Nick Savage. Awesome people!
And then there’s us. Yes, us … Thomas Overly and Gifford Wong. If nothing else, we’re excited to be a part of this traverse. Speaking for myself, this is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. Traverse across the flat, white expanse of an ice sheet … just slightly smacks of the golden Age of Exploration. That said, we’re also eager … or perhaps just anxious to get started. There is a LOT of science to be done. So much so that we almost tried to start off early to get a head start … unfortunately, we didn’t get very far:
But every night we’re in Thule means another possible blog from us. Good? Bad? Indifferent?
Regardless, I hope y’all enjoy the show! Check out www.datatransport.org/grit/monitor (to keep up with us). There’s also a blog for the traverse, and that is: www.polarfield.com/blog/tag/grit/ (but I’m not sure how frequently it’s updated). Cheers!