By Hugues Goosse.

The last two days at the basis have been quite busy preparing the material for the field. We also had the field training, including the way to drive a snow mobile (‘Skidoo’) and the medical information.

When the terrain is flat and the weather is good, driving the snow mobile is relatively easy and fun. It is a bit like a small motorbike but in more stable. It may be different when the terrain will become rough, but apparently you just have to drive slowly.

The snow mobile training. Pic by Mana Inoue

The snow mobile training. Pic by Mana Inoue

You also have to be very careful and be well equipped when driving on longer distances as it can be extremely cold on the skidoo with the wind.

How to wear a survival blanket

We will leave will several containers including all the material, pulled by snow tractors. We will drive slowly! We expect that it will last less than 20 hours to do the 100 km that separate the field camp from the Princess Elisabeth station.

View of the series of containers that we will use on the field

We also have made tests of the instruments. In particular, we have made a first hole to drill a few meters of ice and check if everything was OK. We thus have our first meters of ice!

We have to dig a trench using first a seesaw

First drill

However, close to the station, the ice is too perturbed and cannot be used to infer climate information. We can thus safely make pictures now as we have to be much more careful with the real samples to avoid any contamination of the ice.

The first test of the drilling system

Our first piece of ice after testing the drill