BELARE 2006/2007 - Preparing the traverse

Fortune continues to favour the braves. The crevasse zone was crossed yesterday from the landing site of the "breaking ice" (Alain's Ramp) with much trepidation. The Prinoth encountered several ice bridges and Alain had to go ahead on foot to sound out the thickness with a long stick. Sometimes low tech is the best solution. At one point the ground gave way underfoot and he fell, dropping the only GPS that was at hand into the crevasse. The only solution was to go in with ropes to try to retrieve it, which lost them some precious time. The crevasses were on average between 20 and 40m deep, and next year would require filling in to secure the traverse route.

Finally, all the material is back at the coast camp.

In the evening more good news. Alain has reconnoitred the first 15km out of the landing site and has found a crevasse free route. He has managed to make good time, and is planning to start the first traverse tomorrow morning, and expects to be back at Utsteinen by Sunday evening.

D2 and I re-tried to connect with the Inmarsat system from next to the automatic weather station. He managed with his terminal to connect to the Indian Ocean satellite, but our system is not working and I was unable to register even the smallest connection. When Alain is back here, we will go up the nunatak and see if there is any better luck.