Long day, short story

24.4 2013 12:46

Finally, after several months of preparation, we are set to travel to the Svartisen-Saltfjellet natural park. We are going to install newly developed GPS platforms at the surface of Engabreen as well as melt an ice cave at its base to map bedrock and conduct some experiments to investigate Engabreen's subglacial environment.

We started in poorly conditions as Miriam and I broke a rib a couple of weeks ago and Alex got sick staying in a garage to conduct a final check of her GPS platforms. Moreover, during our preparation we were told that because of road closure due to high avalanche danger, we would not be able to reach the helicopter landing site. We also knew that the door of the subglacial lab. was completely frozen. People from Statkraft would try to open it with propane, but without helicopter they wouldn't come. The weather forecast didn't look great either…

Anyway, on Monday morning Alex, Lindsey (Before I forget, she is Alex's friend from Scotland, who is going to help us during fieldwork) and I picked up our gear from NVE (Norwegian Water Resource and Energy Directorate). With the three of us, we had a polka containing 2 heavy bags, 2 pairs of ski with shoes, 3 big rucksacks and 3 hand luggages for a total of nearly 100kg. Our journey to the airport went rather smoothly despite a taxi that caught up his delay driving like a mad driver. During check in, our luggages didn't seem so heavy for the airport personal, saving us some pennies.

We were supposed to join at the airport a colleague from Copenhaguen. However, a fog over the Danish capital (surprisingly) delayed her arrival by 45 min. Luckily, she managed in a very short time to get her luggage and run to the check in. The first person she asked, refused to take her, but another let her go through. Find the right person and you will get what you want.

Finally reunited, we landed in Bodø, where we bought food and tools. After a nice lunch at Løvold a working class restaurant which serves delicacies from the region, we headed to Glomfjord by boat and then by bus. We spent the night in this poor town, which lost half of its population with the closure of its main solar cell factory several years ago. So, not much to do except repacking for the week.

During that day, I have to mention that our plans to get to Engabreen changed every hour. Due to closure of the main road, we would have to make our way around: drive to Ørnes, take a ferry to Halsa and drive to the landing site. Thus, to leave early the next day, we tried to get rooms in the only hotel at Ørnes but it was fully booked. After cancelling our night in Glomfjord, we had to rebook it. Then, some news from locals told us that the part of the road we wanted to reach was in fact opened. Miriam had then to organise some snow clearance of the helicopter landing site. The last issue of the day was that Miriam's flight got delayed. She eventually arrived at her hotel at 1 o'clock in the morning.

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