Status Update by Brian Newham
Load relaying has continued although once we reached the blue ice area we lost traction and had to break the loads down further to six loads and also double-head on some sections (i.e. two Cats pulling each load). It has slowed progress considerably. Units 1 & 2 have been moved 13km further south and we are hoping that all the remaining fuel scoots will reach the same position by the time we shut-down this evening – at 2030 we still had eight scoots 3.5km to the north and the Cats were still driving. Conditions have been difficult all day with 50 knot winds and limited visibility.
Provided we regroup all loads tonight we hope to start moving across a significant area of blue ice tomorrow which is just to the south of our camp. Satellite imagery suggests rolling terrain and we really need better visibility to find a sensible route. Synoptic charts suggest an improving weather situation so we are hoping winds drop overnight. This 5km stretch of ice is likely to require light loads and possible double-heading so we are expecting slow progress.
Beyond the blue ice we expect better surface conditions beyond the blue ice and hope to be able to return to a four unit setup.
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