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Victor, Idaho - Jackson, Wyoming
Kevin is a passionate fishing guide and photographer who specializes in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

April 10, 2011

The Greenland Traverse is a success, so far!

The Greenland Inland Traverse GrIT was not looking good, as we reviewed the satellite imagery. In fact, not a single one of us thought that we could pull it off this year. So, what are we doing? This is a National Science Foundation funded project ran by Polar Field Services PFS, in conjunction with Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab CRREL to traverse via Case Tractors nearly 45, 000 gallons of fuel and supplies 750 miles across the Greenland icecap to Summit science station. The idea is to cut down the cost and emissions from the old method of flying the supplies to the station on military LC-130 Herc’s. My part in the deal is as a field safety mountaineer. I work with four others to drive the first 65 miles and establish a route though the many crevasse fields.

You can see the imagery in one of these photos from an area of about 5 square miles. What we had to do here was drive a Pisten Bully, a tracked vehicle, in a zig-zag formation between the crevasses and find the edges of them and make sure they’re a minimum of 75 feet apart. We call this area the Needle, since we have to essentially “thread the needle”

To pass the time, I brought a copy of The Flyfish Journal with me.

A panoramic shot from my iPhone and stitched together with the AutoStitch App.

This was an awesome storm with wind speeds well over 40 knots and gusts to 50 knots, which lasted about 16 hours. Here we’re trying to secure the tents a bit better.

You can see the zig-zig tracks back to our final camp, well from here.

This was one of the science projects that tested the durability of a “Airbeam” building which utilizes air inflated tubes for the structure rather than metal or wood. It didn’t fair so well as you can see.

Now we’ll hope for the best as the tractors get ready for their departure and a 1.5 month expedition.

Good luck boys.