On the glacier. And getting off again!!

(Written by Chloe Melen, master student in Geosciences, intern at NVE June-August 2018)

(Photo: Miriam Jackson)

After a hearty breakfast in the cabin, we are ready to discover the glacier. Our goal: putting out a new stake on the glacier tongue. These stakes are important, as they measure the mass balance of the glacier and let us know the trend of how the glacier is melting.

At 10 o'clock in the morning, we go to the boat dock to meet our guide who will help us to climb the glacier. He gives us spikes (crampons), a helmet, a climbing harness and of course, safety advice and we are ready to climb! We climb for about an hour and finally we find the old stake. We measure the old stake, and then start to drill a hole to set out a new stake which will collect new data. We use a hand drill to bore the hole and it takes us longer than we expected but finally we succeed: the result is a huge hole of 4 metres depth. We put the new stake into it and now all we have to do is get down from the glacier.

It turned out that it wasn’t so easy to get down and to save time we had to rappel. However, thanks to the guide we were safe and we finally managed. For all of us, it was great experience: professionally as well as personally. An experience full of adrenalin!