Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Melt to Come

The flurries from Monday remained glued to the salty soils of the valleys, it is now impossible to discern gypsum crystals from stalagmites of snow. Below is the USGS stream gauge for Andersen Creek (along the western margin of Canada Glacier), a stream I am sampling; waiting for it to melt.

During the night, the gray sky made sleeping a bit more chilly. Faint sun penetrated my yellow Scott Tent and inside was a more subdued sepia tone than the shocking yellow of warmth. I had to place my wind-up alarm clock inside a sock because it was too cold for it to work yesterday. In January 2002 katabatic winds pummeled our tents and my tent walls twisted spasmodically, smashing my alarm clock into a thousand rattling pieces (fortunately, these pieces were contained---the problem was only uncovered swishing the clock like an infant's rattle.) Anyway, to keep from needing to eat pounds of chocolate throughout the night, I put my little red parka underneath my sleeping mat along with a few folded duffle bags. The more you can get yourself off the ground the warmer you'll sleep. I wove myself into a chrysalis of a pile pants, a sleeping bag liner, and miscellaneous Smartwool tops. My eyes draped with a face warmer and hat secured into position. Today, I emerged from this encasement revitalized but debating the pros and cons of changing into new attire.
The winds are light today, but no flights again do to the sustained gray. There is little chance that today will be the day that Andersen Creek melts... so I will take a hike today after a few hours on my dissertation. I sit comfortably inside Lake Hoare Camp now. Looking out upon this gray day with anticipation.

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