Sunday, September 09, 2007
For months and months, all we looked at on the Ice
Shelf was one big empty. There was a little water
for a while, but then it was all replaced by ice
and snow. Now, there's all kinds of activity. From
the Chalet, I arguably have one of the best views of
anyone in town and this is what I get to see each day.
Not often do you get a front row seat to watch a group
of people build an airport, but that's exactly what
they're doing...all in a 6 week period.
They go up and down, back and forth, some blow snow,
while others push it out of the way. They call it
wind-rowing and it reminds me of mowing the large
sections of my parent's yard in Indiana.
"Snowblasters" literally move tons of snow, shooting
it over five stories tall. It would take about 5
seconds to clear the average driveway with one of
these, but a team of them go back and forth all day
keeping the runway, tarmac area and access roads clear.
This is Ice Town, or at least the buildings for Ice
Town. It's the temporary group of buildings including
Air Traffic Control, Cargo buildings, a Dining Galley,
offices, etc. that will be used once the runway is
open. They're in the process of moving these buildings
from their spot at Pegasus Runway to the Ice Runway.
When the Ice Runway closes in December, they'll drag
them on their ski-type bottoms back to Pegasus.
Although not associated with the Runway operations, the
new activitiy on the Sea Ice includes Science projects
as well. These huts facilitate three grantees who are
catching fish. Not to eat (although that would be nice),
but to study. They're part of a long-term experiment to
study why fish don't freeze in very cold waters. Kind of
like a natural anti-freeze, and how this natural skill can
be used to help humans in the future. Otherwise, these
buildings make really good ice-fishing huts...plus in a
more exotic locale than some frozen lake in Minnesota or
Posted by Tom Hamann at 11:40 PM