In search of wet holes

Yesterday was my first day on a glacier in a year. The warm weather has continued – we know it was 4 deg. C at one point, plus there was constant sunshine and not much of a wind. All together these made for conditions unlike any I have experienced down here. You could say it was almost too hot at times – like hiking uphill in Colorado when it’s 40 degrees and sunny. The effect of all this warmth was to make the entire glacier surface turn into wet ice, mushy ice, streams, ponds, and waterfalls. This, too, was unlike anything I have seen down here. It was amazingly pretty to see the variety of blues, whites, and greys and to see so much movement of water, bubbles, and slush on an otherwise static landscape.

Contemplating a swim
Our purpose for traversing Canada Glacier was to scout out locations for a series of experiments having to do with the heating of the ice and the formation and movement of meltwater, as well as collect some cryoconite hole samples for Liz. She had sampled dozens of holes for chemical analysis early in the season, and is not in search of wet holes to determine how the chemistry changes once liquid water is introduced to the system.
Today is a rest day, but since we just got to the field 2 days ago, we will be using it as an instrument prep day and to get organized for a busy week It’s been odd with all this warmth and wetness – though everything feels familiar, I feel like I am in a totally different place – a bizarro Taylor Valley, if you will. Even sleeping in the tent seems off when I am using less blankets and feel hotter than I do sleeping in our bed at home. Best enjoy it – I could be whining about the cold in a few days.

More photos here:

2007-12-15: Canada Glacier

One Response to “In search of wet holes”

  1. Hi Matt, Happy 30th Birthday. Hope you had a nice day. Your pictures are very interesting. The wet holes look kind of deep and scary so be careful. What an experience you must be having. Take care. Grandma

Leave a Reply