If you ever have a chance to do research in Antarctica, I highly recommend a USAP mountaineering guide. Our guide for the Gabbro Hills is Evan Miller. The first night he washed all the dishes in hot water with soap. He created a milk bottle so we don’t have to mix the powder each time. Our communal tent is incredibly organized and things outside are kept to a minimum with regular maintenance. It is incredible having another team member helping us get things done. In addition to all the perks for camp life, his primary tasks are to keep us alive and prevent our demise ending at the bottom of a crevasse. All good so far!
Evan was our deep field shakedown and crevasse rescue instructor, so I feel like we were fortunate enough to screen him early. In kind to geologists, I think that mountaineering guides tend to be easy-going adventure-seekers. I do not think that many would consider hiking around and carrying rocks to be quite the thrill they are seeking. Nonetheless, Evan is great in the field. He disproportionately carries more rocks and even took over the GPS duties, though I am keeping a close watch on the latter. 🙂 One aspect that I have found quite amusing is his love of the card game Hearts. Today we were tent-bound due to bad weather, and I think the first words from Evan after we concluded that we weren’t heading out was if we should start playing cards.
Other excitements include us finally having an appropriate Turkey Feast yesterday. Evan brought us a large pre-cooked turkey breast with the resupply food. So last night I cooked up turkey, cheesy potatoes, candied yams, corn bread, and fruit cocktail. I of course was prepared to make chocolate chip cookies, but we were all too full after the meal.