Do we have enough of everything?

On a sea of ice with little islands of rock sticking up here and there. Photo: Andreas Johansson

Text by: Andreas Bergström, field technician

We are in the final third of our somewhat longer field trip. We have ventured far south; at the 75th parallel, we are now 1600 kilometres from the South Pole and at the farthest point from our base, Wasa. If we were to fill a snowmobile tank and load all the fuel we have on a sledge behind it, we would make it to the southernmost point on Earth one way. Our southern position also means that the sun is high in the sky all day; on February 12th, the sun sets here for the first time this year, but by then, we'll hopefully be long gone!

The mountains have a slightly different character here: higher, steeper, and the winds a bit colder.

Today, we woke up to a small familiar snowdrift inside the tent flap and an even larger (slightly less familiar) snowdrift in the toilet tent. But overall, we have worked hard in the past few days, so a bit of wind gives tired arms, legs, and sunburned noses a much-needed break.

As we approach the journey's end, the question often arises: Do we have enough of everything? Fuel for snowmobiles and stoves, oil, food, coffee, peanut butter? Consumption is challenging to calculate, and some things must not run out. But of course, if the peanut butter shortage is what one worries about the most, we're doing well!

The research goal (to take rock samples at different heights above the ice surface) takes us to incredibly beautiful places and scenic views, and we feel fortunate to be here! Keep your fingers crossed that the coffee lasts all the way home!

Person climbing a mountain ridge. In the background you can see mile-wide glaciers.
Expedition doctor Karna is looking for good sampling sites. Photo: Andreas Bergström
Two people on a mountain ridge.
Jane and Martin are on-site for sampling. Photo: Andreas Bergström

Publishing date: 19 Jan 2024