Monday, December 29, 2014

First Flow on Von Guerard

Today a teammate and I were planning on hiking down to a stream on the other side of the Valley and then heading over to a camp called New Harbor which is situated on the coast of the McMurdo sound.  We were going to fly to this stream in a couple of days, but if we could knock it out today we would reduce our helo hours and then we would be able to visit New Harbor, which we both want to check out.

We were getting packed up to leave on our trek, when someone ran inside and notified us that the stream next to our camp had just started to run.  This is the first time that this stream, Von Guerard, has seen flow all season which was pretty cool.  We quickly collected samples of the stream.  The initial pulse is of interest to scientists because they want to know how the chemistry of the initial pulse compares to the chemistry of the flow during the rest of the season.  Finally the stream team's camp had a stream!  It was about time.

This changed our plans, because we had agreed to install someone's stage and electrical conductivity loggers into the stream once we saw flow.  So instead of a hike across the valley, and down to the sound we hiked up the drainage of Von Guerard.

This was a pretty fun trip.  We installed the loggers every 0.75 km and there was about 5 km of stream.  There was a bunch of awesome views and cool stuff to check out on the way.  We both agreed that these days were hard to beat.  Hike a little, work a little, eat a little, and repeat.  We actually traced the stream all the way up to its origins at the glacier.  It is cool to see the progression from the origins of the water all the way to it's final destination.  We also drank a little bit from the stream high up near the glacier.  The water was extremely refreshing, and it was just a cool experience. Here is Von Guerard Stream, and then the Glacier that feeds it.


Below is a cool picture of Lake Frixell.  On the left (west) of the photo is Canada Glacier, on the right (east) is Commonwealth Glacier.  Between these two glaciers is lake Frixell where our camp F6 is located.  You can also faintly make out the route of the stream that we followed all day.

This adventure took up the majority of our day.  When we got back we got a call from one of the helicopters and they had some packages to drop off.  These packages just so happened to be the beer I had ordered from town.  Christmas had come a few days late, and santa may have flown in on a helicopter but he came through for me!

Tomorrow we are expecting a new team member to arrive.  We are still planning on doing the loop that got canceled today.  Hopefully the weather is nice so we get some good views out into the sound.  I think I will go enjoy one of my new cold beverages, goodnight!


  1. How cool is that! (Stream) Hope you get to do the hike tomorrow because I want to see pics of the sound from that side of the sound :-)

  2. p.s. "Seren" is me, Natalie - oops

  3. Enjoying the blog. A very fine adventure and l am envious. You keep blogging and enjoy your beverages. Do not, however, attempt to write your name in the snow. We will miss you at the next cowboy gig in Jan. Stay safe. Nyle

  4. Did you see the congressional committee touring the Dry Valleys?

  5. I wasn't out at the Valleys when they were visiting. I was still in McMurdo. I did see them in the galley when we would eat. I was lucky enough to eat breakfast one day with the director of the NSF, Dr. France A. Cordova.

  6. Hi Nyle and Jill. I'm glad you guys are enjoying the blog! That's too bad I won't be able to make another mad cowboys gig, I need to attend one of those again soon. Happy new years!! It's the 31st here today!