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Augustine Volcano Installation Update (10)


Installation Update:

While high winds kept crews away from mainland site AC27 yesterday, Charna Meth helped as Mike Jackson installed two campaign stations on the volcano for USGS.

Winds at AV05 were light enough in the morning to get Karl Feaux, Dave Mencin, Barrett Friesen, and Seth Friedly up to the site working on the installation. Working conditions became rough when the wind picked up, throwing pea-sized rocks into the faces of the crew, and making it difficult to keep equipment and materials from blowing away. By 4:30 p.m., when they were scheduled to be picked up by the helicopter, winds were so heavy that the aircraft was unable to land at AV05.

Fearing the weather would get worse, the four crew members started a trek down the northeast side of the volcano. With heavy ‘pigs’ on their backs (large dry bags packed with extreme weather survival gear in case of emergencies or getting stranded), the crew made their way down the volcano, descending over 3,000 feet before finding calm winds and flat terrain that would allow the helicopter to land. Understandably, the crew was very happy to make it back to base camp after having to trudge through deep layers of volcano ash and down very steep ridges for two and a half hours.

We woke up to clear skies this morning, and crews are hoping to make it to both AV05 and AC27 to make the finishing touches to those installations.

Base Camp Update:

The film crew hired by NSF, Andy Dwyer and Tim Boese, continue to record different aspects of the project that will be eventually be used as B roll for the production of EarthScope documentaries. Already, the Discovery Channel, NOVA, and other producers have requested footage of the project.

Time has been flying by as base camp continues to bustle with activity: helicopters coming and going; equipment, people, and gear being shuffled around from site to site; data communications being checked; meals being cooked Unfortunately the short VIP visit will end tomorrow when our guests head back to Homer. It has been great to have the NSF and EarthScope guests here to see first hand what it is like to install a station and keep the base camp running. Shortly after their departure and once all stations are complete, crews will start packing up base camp and preparing for the boat to arrive to take everyone off the island. While some people will be sad to leave such a beautiful place, others are looking forward to a hot shower, private bathroom, and real bed.


Last modified: 2020-01-28  22:54:08  America/Denver