On the ground in Thule
This morning we headed into town for breakfast in the community dining room. The town of Kangerlussuaq consists of a population of about 500 inuit natives and the air force personnel at the base. The two populations are separated by the airstrip through the center of the valley. Apparently Kanger is green in summer, but we're not quite into spring yet so we're surrounded by dead grass and ice.
After breakfast, we suited up with cold weather gear from the NSF Polar Program stockroom packed up our bags, and drove back to the Tarmac to load onto the C5. Heavier by a few passengers and 15,000 lbs of additional cargo, we took off for Thule. The flight lasted only an hour, but the difference in climate in Thule was noticeable the second we stepped out on the strip. Unloading took several hours as we tried to be useful helping the National Guardsmen unload pallets. Watching the Case Snowcat download off the cargo ramp was an impressive sight. We knew this was particularly unusual since the Air Force guys and base personnel were also taking pictures.
Once again, our accommodations here are far nicer than we get back at home, and the Base Exchange is the only place I've seen that sells alcohol cheaper than New Hampshire. Kevin and I are still adjusting to the 5-hour shift in our sleep and work schedules and we won't be making use of that anytime soon.
I'll be posting pictures from today as soon as I can upload them, so check in tomorrow for more pictures. For additional pictures from those in this blog, follow this Link
Our first two days have taken us this far. The last seven months we've worked so that we'll be able to navigate the first several pixels of distance on the blue line towards the summit. Once on the ice cap, there won't be many crevasses but the transition zone can be quite dangerous.