I am not sure how much sleep any of us got last night. Today, we pulled out of base camp 2 and field season came to an end. We needed to meet at 7 am with bags packed; not a problem for me, I think I was up by 5. As usual, this amazing place always has something new to share. As I came out of the tent, the landscape was splashed with the most amazing light from the morning sun.

Sunrise at Base Camp 2 - our final farewell

I glanced up at Lil' Nug glacier - the mere toe of a glacier that is no longer. I wonder how much longer this glacier will be in existence. Lil' Nug is one of the reasons why we picked this camp site. From maps created in 1950 and 2012, Lil' Nug has shrunk considerably. Lil' Nug is responsible for the beautiful turquoise lake in front of the camp. To listen to a dying glacier is a profound experience.

How much longer will Lil' Nug exist?

Before long, we heard the chopper coming our way. You can actually feel the noise from the chopper inside your belly. I could not wait to go ice cap hopping - such an exhilarating experience.

Here comes the chopper!

As we were leaving camp, I glimpsed to my left and spotted our El Capitan in the distance. Our moraine hike from the day before had us hiking around the base of the cliff.

An aerial view of our Moriane Day hike

I absolutely love to look over the nanataks to see if my eyes can scope out prime locations for moss vegetation. By the end of field season, I was beginning to understand the patterns to look for - veg hunting is so much fun!

I was trying to spot vegetation on the nanataks that we were flying above

We had found a nanatak on the map that was high on the ice cap. We were so excited to visit the location. It did not disappoint. High in elevation with some of the oldest bedrock we had seen all field season. The pictures do not do justice to this land. It was so steep and I am continually amazed how our chopper pilot could set down in the most precarious places.

A very ancient part of the earth - will we find vegetation exposed?

A different perspective - It is very hard to give perspective to the enormous size of these landforms

As we headed toward the fjord, the majestic giants rose into view.

Just a hop over the fjord to our next ice cap

At times, it appeared as if the glaciers draped into the valleys that lead down to the fjord.

The glaciers appeared to spill into the valley below

Some of the most beautiful patterns in nature are found in ice.

Patterns in nature

Nature's own version of tie-dye

We were all snapping pictures to try to capture the day. However, no amount of digital imagery will ever do this landscape justice.

Pictures do not capture the true beauty of this landscape

At our last stop, Jason was trying to see if there was any veg locations. He decided to hike up to higher ground. Can you spot him on the glacier? I call him, "GlacierA mass of ice that persists for many years and notably deforms and flows under the influence of gravity. Man."

Can you spot Jason on the glacier? Look closely!

On our way out of the region we were treated to images almost too difficult to describe.

Priceless

One of the last forms I saw in the area was Twiliogerne. These two high peaks I first spotted on our first moraine hike out of base camp 1. They seemed so far away; today we were treated to a spectacular view.

Twiliogerne - if you check out our first moraine hike of the season, you can see these peaks in the distance

We then traveled to Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, which was about an hour away. As I watched out my window, the glaciers faded into the horizon, the land softened and became hilly with hundreds of lakes pooling between the hills. As we approached the coast, icebergs began to dot the water below us. These 'small' icebergs were larger than small islands. Nothing here in Greenland is on a small scale - Greenland is the place of giants.

Coming into Nuuk - the capital of Greenland.

Date
Weather Summary
Partly sunny with a low system moving in
Temperature
40s on the ice caps

Comments

Josh O'Brien

is it possible to find the age of a glacier and is you can what would be the process

Tina Ciarametaro

Dear IMSIan,there is nothing about Greenland that is a drag except for maybe it not being easily accessible to visit again!

Tina Ciarametaro

I slept very well - I had a mummy style sleeping bag and wore multiple layers on the colder nights. I missed my family; however, I was able to call them on the sat. phone.

Tina Ciarametaro

That is a great question! There are bonds that formed that will never be broken. I had not met 2 of the team members and we all had to rely on one another. We all had to learn quickly how each of us handled stressful situations and we made sure everyone had their space when needed.

IMSalexM

What is a fiord and how old is it

IMSIanB

Hello Ms. C!!! I have been wondering. You and your team were up there for over a month, did you get sick of them after a few days? or did you bond big time?

IMSIanB

Hello again Ms.C! I have been doing some research about Greenland and most sights say its a drag because its so cold, but to me it looks like an absolutely beautiful place. would you agree with me?

tye w

how'd you sleep did you get home sick or was it very uncomftorble??????

IMSBenG

Hello! I was just checking on this Journal entry and I couldn't help but comment on the patterns that were in the ground in some of the pictures. They are all so incredibly formed. The whole trip reminds me of Nova Scotia, where I was at most of the summer. There the mountains are all incredibly big and the views very similar. Also, the Fjords were awesome. Greenland seems like a very interesting place.

IMSBenG

Sorry haha I meant Patterns

IMSConnor

When you are hiking do have to take many breaks to rest.

IMS David F

What is ice cap hopping? And what research would you do while ice cap hopping.

IMS David F

That is a amazing picture of a fjord, but i have a question what is a fjord?

Tina Ciarametaro

Dear IMSConnor,we would take a few breaks and you go at your own pace to an extent. You don't want to lose visibility of the crew ahead of you. I occasionally stayed in the back so that I might be able to grab some great photos but I did not want the team to have to wait too long. We usually pushed ourselves to a summit position and then had 20 or so minutes for lunch before hiking the remaining way.

Tina Ciarametaro

Dear IMSDavidF,Ice cap hopping is where you use the helicopter to fly over the fjord to the different ice caps to collect dead moss samples and quartz samples.

IMSJackM

Based on your research can you tell how long ago the last time this area had a warm climate?

IMSNickF

What have you seen that you didn't plan to see?? Also have you seen the Northern Lights?

Tina Ciarametaro

We are hoping so - as in any type of research, the more data you have to analyze the more confident you become w/your results. I am hoping that we will follow up w/Univ. of Buffalo to learn of their results later this year.

Tina Ciarametaro

Dear IMSNickF,it has only been dim for a few hours a night 1-3am. However, it was predicted that the Northern Lights were to be awesome last night - however, we had a full blanket of cloud cover so we were not able to see them.

Susan Steiner

really great pictures and experience, Tina. Wow. I think it's great your mind eye has developed to spot the vegetation from the chopper!!

IMSWILLM

1. Are there any other humans there, like with houses?
2. Are there any fast food places, like McDonalds?

IMSKatherineN

While you we're on your last stop with Jason did you find vegatation location on the glaciers?

IMSCassidyK

What was sleeping like? Were there beds, cots or anything like that? On most nights did you get the regular eight to ten hours of sleep?

IMSJacksonF

Greenland truly looks like a breathtaking place and the scenery is amazing. What is the population like there? How do the people living there affect the nature and ecology?

IMS Isaiah M

what is the usual temperature there

IMSAndrianaS

If you could stay in Greenland for about a week longer would you? And also what is it like to sleep? Is there beds or just like a sleeping bag?

IMSFaithP

Overall, did you accomplish the goal of your trip? If so, will we be studying this in school?

Tina Ciarametaro

We picked camping area that had relatively soft tundra. We had down filled sleeping bags and usually slept about 6 hours.

Tina Ciarametaro

The people living there live off the land. It is quite a transition time - they are trying to become economically independent and still live traditional ways. They hunt and fish but foreign industries have come into Greenland to look for oil and mine for minerals.

Tina Ciarametaro

If I could, I would go back to Greenland on a regular basis. I love it there!!!! We tried to pick camping areas with soft tundra; we slept in down filled sleeping bags.

Tina Ciarametaro

The field season was a huge success and I have so many ideas for school - I hope they work out!

IMSTessaD

During the day, are you working the whole time, or do you have time to hike around and enjoy the scenery?

Tina Ciarametaro

Dear IMSTessaD,because field season is so short and this is the only time the scientists can gather data, we work all day (8 am - 7pm).