Monday, February 19, 2007

Hell is cold

Well, last week I had a pretty strange adventure taking snow samples up on the Alaska Prudhoe bay oilfields. I think the pictures tell the story best. The temps on our work days were in the -30s F, with the windchill. Not too bad for up there in February.

This picture is the Deadhorse airfield with blowing snow and temps of -50s F, with windchill. Our operations would have ceased if temps dropped below -60F. In the range of -40 to -60, work can go on outside, so long as workers get frequent breaks.

In the picture I'm wearing four pairs of socks, five hats, and six layers over my upstairs. The coveralls stayed up better when I put on the belt. The boots are a military surplus called "bunny boots"; good to -40F or colder...

Here my coworkers are drilling into a lake used for water supply. The ice is about a meter thick and we took water chemistry measurements to make sure the fish could live happily at the bottom.

Here's a frozen North Slope river on the plane ride home. So good to get home to Fairbanks safe and sound!

Many, many pictures from this trip can be found here:flickr