11 July, 1999
This morning we woke up and managed to meet up with Steve Malone. He is a seismologist at the University of Washington. He will also be up on the glacier with us. He will be putting seismometers into the ice. The seismometers will be picking up mechanical waves which pass through the glacier. Any build up and release of stress by the glacier, which is common in glacier movement, will be recorded by the seismometers. Ideally, Steve Malone hopes to determine if there is a characteristic seismicity to the glacier prior to the drainage of the lake. Again, this is scientifically interesting, and will allow another means of predicting when the outburst flood will occur.
We traversed the footbridge across the Kennicott River with Steve and made our way to McCarthy (an additional one mile walk from the bridge). McCarthy is not accessible by car, at least not during the summer. The gravel road which we traveled to get here last night ends at the footbridge we crossed this morning. We walked into town, which consisted of a couple of bush flight businesses, a hotel, restaurant, and shop. At the end of town we encountered a group of buildings which appeared to be abandoned - one of them a former hardware store. We walked in and the place was teeming with 20 college students. As it turns out, the abondoned-looking, former hardware store is the home of the Wrangell Mountain Institute. This parcticular group of college students was there on a seven week, field-based education program. In the back was a garden. They served us breakfast.
After breakfast we off-loaded our gear at the helicopter staging area. If you were wondering how all the equipment was going to get 12 miles up glacier, now you know. The helicopter will be arriving on Tuesday the 13th of July to transport our gear in sling loads up to our various study locations and our camp. We are all anxious to get on the ice to start collecting data.
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