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Greenland Ice Sheet traverse team pinned down due to severe weather

144087main_GREENLAND
I received a satellite phone call from Clement Miege (Geography Ph.D. student) with an update on the ACT Team status.  The temperatures started dropping and the winds picked up late yesterday afternoon so they made camp on the ice sheet after moving 48 km (30 mi.).  Winds were too high with no visibility today to make any progress on the snow mobiles.  Temperatures were -35 C (-31 F) with wind over 40 knots (46 mph).  Therefore, they stayed in tents and repositioned the parked snow machines into the wind as the direction shifted during the day to keep the drifts from packing snow into the engine and tread areas.
There is a storm is forecast to hit the area at 4 p.m. tomorrow (local time, they are 4 hours ahead of Mountain Time) so they will get up at 6 a.m. and travel as far as possible before the storm arrives.  It is forecast to last through the weekend so after tomorrow they may not be able to move again until Monday.  Their camp consists of three tents set up on the ice sheet.  Two are Arctic Ovens, a brand specifically made for camping in cold windy conditions.  One is for sleeping and the other is used as a cook tent.  The third tent is a typical four-season mountaineering tent for sleeping.  All four members are doing fine and in good spirits.
Update, Friday April 8, 2011: 

I just got word that one of the team members is not feeling well today so they will stay in camp and plan to move tomorrow depending on the forecast storm conditions.  Delays like these are to be expected and have been included in the logistics planning.  The team has enough food for at least two weeks of extra traverse time.

You can track the team’s progress with the web tracking tool here

At home on the Greenland ice sheet.