28 December, 2002
Hello Site 5
Latitude: 88° 00’ 07.70” S
Longitude: 107° 58’ 58.47” W
Time of Observations: 3:00 PM local time
Temperature: -25C / -13 F
Wind speed: 10 knot
Wind Chill: -36 C/ -33 F
Wind direction: Southeasterly
Meters of ice collected: 506 m
By Daniel Dixon
Hooray! We have arrived at Site 5. We have been here for all of half an hour and already the camp is a hive of activity no time to waste around here. Dan has completed the surface snow sampling, Markus, Betsy, Karl, and Lynn are busy preparing the atmospheric tent, Blue and Gordon are preparing to conduct the GPS survey around camp, Susan, Mark, Dan and Paul are preparing the 2, and 3-inch drill sites, Jim is processing the shallow radar data, Brian is processing the deep radar data, and Andrea is preparing yet another fantastic feast. Wow!
The journey to Site 5 turned out to be quite eventful; soon after leaving Hercules Dome (Site 4), we dropped down about 50 meters in elevation. A few tens of kilometers later we began to climb again. As we headed towards the East Antarctic Plateau, we encountered several steep hills in short succession. The first hill rose about 20 meters in 100 kilometers, this may not sound like much but when you are dragging approximately 50,000 pounds of weight behind you it is enough to slow you down considerably. The second hill was even steeper; it rose over 50 meters in 12 kilometers. This was steep enough to stop us completely. When a tractor gets stuck it’s tracks keep on spinning but it does not move, the result is a large, deep hole with a tractor in the bottom of it not much fun to dig out with shovels! To ascend the steep hill we had to hook both tractors together and pull one train at a time. Thankfully, the hill only lasted for a couple of kilometers so we did not waste too much time in the process.
Now we are at Site 5 and plan to spend about 48 hours here to conduct our experiments, after this we shall head straight for the South Pole. Let’s see if we can make it by New Years Day.
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