Ice Drills Retrieved
With the drills essential to our work apparently lost somewhere in transit, Lonnie and I finally backtracked to Jakarta–a five-hour flight–and found them sitting in an airline warehouse! Within 24 hours, we had them shipped to our staging site, and now we are ready to go.
Below, some photos I took in intervening days of our preparations, and of the terrain ahead of us.
Lower-elevation mountains below the Puncak Jaya summit, taken from helicopter, between the towns of Timika and Tembagapura.
Lonnie Thompson (right center) and I (left center) discuss strategic plans for efficiently combining ice coring, sediment sampling and installation of automatic weather stations. With us: staff from the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics of Indonesia (BMKG), Indonesian Science Institute (LIPI) and the Environment Division of Freeport McMoRan.
We have been practicing how to load and unload slings using a B3 helicopter, which will be used to transport heavy loads to the mountaintop. You can see that fog is the main issue here. We usually have only a 1- to 2-hour window in early morning for mobilization.
My Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory hat--which I always try to wear--at the edge of the Grasberg mining area. Meren and Carstenz glaciers (covered by fog) in background.
Base camp, elevation 4330 meters. On my left, two technicians who will install an automatic weather station there. Tip of the Meren glacier (East Northwall Firn) can be seen in the top left. We plan to drill three locations there. Base camp, elevation 4330 meters. On my left, two technicians who will install an automatic weather station there. Tip of the Meren glacier (East Northwall Firn) can be seen in the top left. We plan to drill three locations there. (Photo: Garendy)
Just below Carstenz summit, which stands 4884 meters. (Photo: Nurakhman)