Hubert : the winter snow is nearly gone…

Published on 26.04.2009 - Hubert at the Humboldt

Alain Hubert has sent some news from Greenland. They still have to find the best spot from which they will to be able to watch the Humboldt, the largest glacier on Earth.

From Alain Hubert's dispatch : " Arrival 77.41.18.8 N, 68.56.50.5 W. Another lucky day with the weather, sunny and no wind, no complaints. We travelled 12 km (I'll stick to km as it is more impressive than miles) to
the end of the frozen fjord (definition of a fjord: a narrow but deep inlet from the sea between steep slopes), crossing several towering icebergs measuring over 10 metres high (30 ft high). These icebergs must be the remains of a time when the foot of several glaciers joined into the middle of the fjord. We can clearly see that the glaciers are receeding as they lie in their oversized beds. The Inuits told us that this phenomenon has increased over the last 5 years. ..."

" ... Once we reached the end of the fjord, the fun began as we started climbing up the slow incline of the tugto glacier. about 6 km later, we reached a first plateau at an elevation of 185 m (600 ft) where we set up our second camp. We moved for about 8 hours stopping 3 times for 15 min. This is a luxury the good weather had to offer us, seeing that it wasn't too cold today. Normally during polar expeditions, when it is really cold, we do not take breaks that last any longer than 5 min as we may get frostbitten."

"We came up to a small canyon where a river flows during the summertime. the landscape is as close as it gets to that on the moon: a mix of rock and ice mountains with no vegetation and not a sign of life except for two ravens who came out of nowhere and followed us for two hours. They were great company."

Alain notices that the winter snow is already nearly gone. That's about a month earlier than usual in the region and causes great concern to Alain. On the other hand, the good thing is that the sun is out 24h/day sitting 1/3 of the way up as if it were 9 am. This puts no pressure on reaching a good camp spot before darkness. We can keep on going until we find the best spot for our camp...and alain is very picky! The nurse observation tonight is very light with only a blister to report.

You can also have a look at Larry Hunt's blog.

Do not forget to visit our other websites, Sciencespoles & Educapoles, to learn more about the Humboldt glacier.

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