A weather-curtailed radar survey of Leppard GlacierApril 21, 2013
On Sunday, 21 April, we launched a series of helicopter missions to the lower portion of Leppard Glacier. The main objective was to find a place to install a very sensitive seismic instrument that my friend, Won Sang, and his team needed to deploy. Unfortunately, the rock sites surrounding the glacier were too unstable, so the decision was made to place the equipment on the ice next to where Jenn, Erin, and I were preparing for our radar ski traverse.
The ski traverse was planned so that we would cross the main section of the glacier, with the three of us roped up to each other and to the sleds, and with the radar antennas stretched between Erin and me. We had flown over the area prior to landing in order to see if we could pick a spot with a minimum of cracks—but a lot of those crevasses could have been hidden.
We put Jenn out on the front since she was the lightest, and it was her job to lead us along the route, moving slowly and looking for any sign of crevasses. I was next, tied to Jenn and a sled I was hauling.
Erin brought up the rear pulling the final sled. Luckily we had chosen right and saw no hint of a crack, but the skiing was tough due to the really rough ice and little snow cover.
We returned to our starting point, where Won Sang and crew were working, just in time to be picked up by the helos that had come out to warn us of bad weather sneaking in on the ships location. We loaded up and flew back to the boat, where we made a tricky landing in the wind and weather.