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25 January, 2002


There are a few people here at Palmer Station who like to go out to ski on the glacier behind the station. Maggie Amsler is one of those skiers. She usually goes out at 0530 and skis for an hour. In order to go out there, Maggie signs out on the board, so people know where she is. She signs herself out from 0530-0700, but she is usually back in one hour.

Maggie was interested in knowing what the rate of incline was for the separate stages of the ski trail. She borrowed the GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) monitor in order to take her measurements. The GPS recorded that she started from the bottom level of the Biology Lab at an elevation of 30 meters. We know that isn't possible, because the second floor of the building is at an elevation of 26 feet! Anyway, the rate of change between the elevation measurements is the important number. Using this information that Maggie collected, what is the slope of each section of the trail to the top? What is the total change. Can you graph this?

Place: Biology Lab Distance (from start point): 0 Elevation: 30 meters

Place: Base of glacier Distance : 0.1km Elevation : 35 meters

Place: VLF antenna Distance : 0.5km Elevation : 115 meters

Place: End of trail Distance: 1 km Elevation: 146 meters

This is the ski trail at a relatively level spot.

The area of water behind the danger sign is Arthur Harbor. From our bedroom window, we can see Arthur Harbor and the glacier wall. The glacier is noisy when pieces are breaking off!

This is a view of Palmer Station from the top of the glacier trail. (All these photos were taken by Maggie Amsler)

This shows another view from the glacier top. That might be the Bismarck Strait in the distance!

The line of black flags warns hikers and skiers to stay away. Palmer Station has a Glacier Search and Rescue (GSAR) team. The team members maintain the flag system.

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