Imaggeo on Mondays: Storm in Mount Waddington

This week’s Imaggeo on Mondays is brought to you by the photographer herself, Marion Bisiaux (now at Stendhal University, Grenoble, France), who tells us about her exciting field trip to the British Columbia’s Coast Range.

“Combatant Col under a storm” by Marion Bisiaux, distributed by the European Geosciences Union under a Creative Commons licence.

This picture was taken during the Waddington Range Ice Core Project in which I participated during my PhD at the University of Nevada, Reno, US and at the Desert Research Institute, also in Reno. The scene was captured in July 2010, during a month-long field trip at the Combatant Col, the mountain pass below Mount Waddington in British Columbia’s Coast Range that sits at 3000m elevation and contains more than 200m of ice. The aim of the project was to drill an ice core to retrieve information on the past climate of the area. The results were published in 2012 in the Journal of Glaciology and are available online.

The camp (tents only) was located just below the massive north face of Mount Waddington. The weather was rather rough as we had several storms hitting the camp, but the scenery was impressive, with avalanches running on Mount Waddington’s face, crevasses, overhanging seracs, among other phenomena. The photograph shows the high winds on the Mount that stopped the ice-core drilling for a few days and forced drillers to hide in their tents.

Notwithstanding the strong weather and striking scenery, what I remember the most is the human aspect of this scientific expedition. Everyone was very motivated, working very hard to make the drill happen, and united by the same goal: the success of the expedition and the increase of knowledge.

This field trip will be the topic of a book Carnet Glacé (in French), which will tell the story of the expedition.

By Marion Bisiaux, glaciologist and science communication student

Imaggeo is the EGU’s online open access geosciences image repository. All geoscientists (and others) can submit their images to this repository and since it is open access, these photos can be used by scientists for their presentations or publications as well as by the press and public for educational purposes and otherwise. If you submit your images to Imaggeo, you retain full rights of use, since they are licensed and distributed by the EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

Bárbara Ferreira is the Media and Communications Manager of the European Geosciences Union. She is responsible for the Union’s communication activities, from coordinating the EGU newsletter to members and overseeing the blogging and social media activities of the organisation, to publishing press releases for journalists and organising press conferences. She has a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge.

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