Hallelujah! We’ve arrived at Summit.
Its amazing! They have SO many things … like a TV, couches, and WiFi. And PEOPLE!
Before I get too far ahead of myself, I’d like to thank Laura and all the IGERTeers for supporting us in this first-half of the traverse. Its been SO much fun! RAWR!!
And, of course, I’d like to thank the GrIT group for providing such an awesome ride during this first half … our train of cargo and fuel will get a lot smaller now that we’re at Summit.
So, Thomas and I are at Summit and we’re preparing to reconfigure ourselves for the return journey. We have cargo arriving from Kangerlussuaq as well as instruction coming from the States. We’re anxious to hear our fate as we might be snowmobiling a majority of the way back. Remember, that’s ~725 miles of fun! =D
Actually, to be completely honest, I am looking forward to the possibility of snowmobiling. See, I have a love-hate relationship with our Pisten Bully. Don’t get me wrong … its done alright so far, but it isn’t ideal. In fact, let’s imagine a day. We usually put in about 9-10 hours in the saddle … struggling to keep up with the tractors. Our longest day has been 60 miles. Yes, that’s right … we are moving about 6 miles an hour. The seating in the back is cramped, and that’s being generous. If you’re driving, you’re slightly more comfortable … but still only moving at 6 miles an hour (so you’re struggling to stay awake, =D).
As our mountaineer put it, its like towing a U-Haul trailer behind a compact car. You sit in the backseat for 10 hours, stopping only to pee or fuel (you eat on the go) … and then, when you’re done, you get to settle in your 10′ trailer (cooking/eating/socializing). Speaking of Galen, it truly has been a treat having him work with us on this traverse. He wholly throws himself at helping us out, which is awesome! The above day is already shortened as it is by the slowness of the Pisten Bully, but his efforts continue to keep us on task and (more or less) timely! He’s an instructor at NOLS and, in his spare ice sheet time, enjoys Rammsonde’ing, digging snow pits, Kovacs coring boreholes, and modeling on Case equipment!
Okay … dinner calls … Cheers!