WAISide Pack and Patch

Enough about cookies, let's get packing. Supposedly we are supposed to depart around Nov. 2 to WAIS, but the way the weather works down here, we could be sticking around MacTown for quite some time.

Early morning meetings about who is who and who does what and what to do and what WAIS is all about. WAIS is all about the Westside of de Ice, boreholes, explosions and siesmic readings by loggers put into the borehole that record data representing deep ice structures. More about that next week.

After that, the WAIS team heads to a warehouse where we pick up our sleeping kits and pee bottles. I was happy to hear that we have 6 outhouses, a poo bag (or bottle) is no bueno.

We're given a cage to store our materials.

Before you issue your kit, you have to unpack it all and make sure it's doable.

Two Arctic sleeping bags, two foam sleeping pads, one thermarest, a fleece blanket, drinking bottle and pee bottle.

All crammed into a large duffle bag. It takes at least three people to zip it up.

Following our sleep kit packing fun we headed to the BFC where we tried on out our tents.

Inside the Berg Field Center are sleds, ice picks, shovels, tents, camp stoves, etc. Anything to do with the deep field ops. are in this building.

This guy on the wall died in the 1960's from a helo crash. It's a harsh continent. RIP.

Over the last 24 hours I've put together and taken down 5 tents and helped patch 4 of the snowflys.

Here's where we get the glue and patches to patch.

Mine had about 15 giant gashes at the bottom of the fly where someone shoveled a bit too hard. Reminded me of elementary art class, with Beyonce playing in the background...

We patch and glue, then let set overnight.

Back to the warehouse to visit the food store.

We divied up the shopping lists and loaded boxes full of food that must last us the first two weeks. After the first two weeks we will be getting regular LC-130 flights and plenty of resupply opportunities then, but for the first part we will have to operate light as it will take us sometime to get everything in place and built. For instance, to make freeze dried anything we will have to make water, which will mean we will need to shovel snow and turn on a generator. To turn a generator we will need to unload fuel from the plane and make sure the fuel lines are still intact. It will be cool if the generators work too. Furthermore, you need a sheltered kitchen, propane, utensils, maybe thawed ingredients, heat to keep chef hands warm and a bunch of other elements to kickstart a kitchen on flat white ice.

Gonna be some dried herbs till we get the good stuff.

The food store aisles.

This is what happens to mayo when it freezes. Look at how much oil is in mayo, mmm, check your heart.

And this is where I smiled, especially when the food store guardian said I could take as much as I wanted. Quality check? I think so.

This is the bulk of our two-week supply. Reminds me a lot of when I Cheffed for the UAF Geophysical Camp two years ago > http://www.antarcticcowboy.com/2009/06/shopping.html

The goods getting scanned then put into boxes. Then a donkey, aka me, hauls them down the steps to Russ-man where he organizes and packages them.

We write up labels for each box. The labels indicate what's inside, what are the dimensions of the box, how much it weighs, what camp it's going to and what type of plane it will be on.

All that ^ was the dry goods. Next, we go outside to the freezer where we pick up the two-week frozen food supply.

Here's Rose loading the boxes. Our crew is Russell, Rosemary and myself. Tonight at dinner we discussed who would we eat first in case of a worst case scenario. We all agreed that before we would ever come to that decision we would traverse one hundred miles to the BYRD camp and raid their food supply.

Once they got all the goods into boxes a donkey, aka me, hauled the boxes back inside to a tri-wall where the Rus-man organized and repacked them. Seeing a pattern here? Nice to not have the need to go to the gym to get those endorphines.

>>> WAISIDE <<< This is not a gang sign, this is a WAIS sign, homies.