Haughton-Mars Project (HMP-2001 REPORT: 010628)

Status Report From: Haughton-Mars Project (HMP)
Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2001

By: Dr. Pascal Lee

Snow conditions at Haughton Crater on Devon Island still do not allow a safe landing by Twin Otter. There is too much snow on the airstrip for a wheeled landing, too little for a landing on skis. The only way in at this time is by helicopter. There is no helicopter available in Resolute Bay right now, but the one chartered by the Noranda mineral exploration company will be arriving tomorrow and we've arranged to use it to fly a few team members to Haughton Crater at the earliest opportunity.

Currently, the plan goes as follows.

A First Air Twin Otter will be chartered to fly a forward team comprising John Schutt, Joe Amarualik, Samson Ootoovak, Gordon "Oz" Osinski, Frank Schubert, and a sixth person TBA to Thomas Lee Inlet, on the shores of Jones Sound, a few miles from Haughton Crater. A Twin Otter should be able to land safely at Thomas Lee on a snow-free gravel bar by the sea. There, the party would be met by a helicopter flying in from the Noranda Camp located one hour away on Grinnell Peninsula, in the northern part of Devon Island.

The helicopter, an A-Star chartered from the company Guardian Helicopters, will then shuttle the six-person forward team to the HMP Base Camp site in two or three short roundtrip hops from Thomas Lee Inlet. The Twin Otter would then fly back to Resolute Bay while the helicopter would head back to the Noranda Camp.

John Schutt, Base Camp Manager for HMP-2001 and the designated field leader of this deployment and Oz will then spend a day or two shovelling the airstrip to clear it of wet snow, while Frank Schubert, leader of the FMARS habitat construction effort, Joe Amarualik and Samson Ootoovak will begin finishing work inside the FMARS habitat immediately. As soon as the runway is sufficiently dry, Twin Otters will be sent in to begin the main "put-in" operations and HMP-2001 will begin in earnest.

Such late departures of the snow cover are somewhat uncommon but not really unexpected. Some years the snow is gone early, other years it lingers around longer. The planning of our field activities take this possibility into account and no substantial impact on this year's research program is anticipated.

The FMARS Habitat on Haynes Ridge from the air
The FMARS Habitat on Haynes Ridge from the air. (062501)
Base Camp from the air
Base Camp from the air. (062501)
Cargo delivery in Resolute
Cargo arriving in Resolute. (062301)
Getting some work done in the Hotel conference room.
Team members get some work done in the hotel conference room. (062601)

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