This document is intended to assist you in planning your trip to the GISP2 site in Greenland, principally in choosing and procuring clothing. A companion document prepared by PICO, Facilities and Services Available to NSF-Sponsored Projects in Greenland, will complement the information provided here. Any questions not resolved by these documents should be directed to the Science Management Office.
Science Management Office
The GISP2 Science Management Office (SMO) is the coordination center for the GISP2 project. Comments, problems, questions, and suggestions should be directed here.
The Director of the SMO is Dr. Paul Mayewski, and the Associate Director is Mr. Mark Twickler. They can be reached via several pathways
Mail: GISP2 - Science Management Office EOS - Univ. of New Hampshire Durham, NH 03824-3525 Phone: 603-862-1991 FAX: 603-862-2124 E-Mail: GISP2.firstname.lastname@example.org
There is an answering machine on the phone to receive calls 24 hours a day, and the FAX also receives transmissions 24 hours a day.
PICO( Not Current )
PICO is charged with providing the logistics for the GISP2 project. They are newly located at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks, having moved from Lincoln, Nebraska.
Ideally the Science Management Office should be your link to PICO in order to assure that we are all coordinated.
The Associate Director is Mr. Jay Sonderup. He can be reached at:
Mail: University of Alaska - Fairbanks Polar Ice Coring Office - Signer's Hall Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-1720 Phone: 907-474-5468 FAX: 907-474-7720 E-Mail:
During 1989 the primary communications between the GISP2 site and the rest of the world will be HF radio to Pico in SFJ (Sondrestrom). The camp will be equipped with a VHF land-mobile system consisting of base, handled, and vehicle-mounted radios. A second VHF frequency will be added to provide communications between GISP2 and GRIP base camps. Both the GRIP and GISP2 programs will be using the same HF frequencies, so communications between the two camps will be possible. South Com radios will be used at remote sites.
Mail( Not Current )
For personnel who will be staying more than one leg, and would like to receive mail at the GISP2 site, use the following address:
Addressee PICO - GISP2 c/o 1015th Air Base Squadron Sondrestrom AB, Greenland APO NEW YORK 09121
Polypro underwear from a recent REI catalog ranges from $15 to $30. Capilene from Patagonia starts at $20 and goes up to $50 for heavy weight shirts.
The advent of synthetic materials, specifically, pile, synchilla, polar fleece, etc has added immensely to the ability to stay comfortable under a range of conditions. At least two of these shirts/sweaters are recommended. There are a range of style and manufacturers for these shirts, with prices ranging from $30 to $90. Wool and chamios shirts are useful, and can be used in place of the latter.
Wool pants are an old standby which still have great advantages in the field. A heavy pair of wool pants worn over polypro underwear and under a pair of wind pants will go a long way towards keeping you warm. A more popular combination these days consists of polypro underwear, pile pants or bibs (REI Polarstretch bibs; $80), and bib style wind pants made of Gore-tex or other windproof material ($150 - $200). While Gore-tex is not critical at Summit because of the generally dry conditions, few of these style wind pants are made of anything else.
Coats should protect you from the wind and keep you warm. If you are working hard, you may not want insulation, but still want to be protected from the wind and blowing snow. Thus some type of windproof shell plus a heavier insulated coat, either down or synthetic, is recommended. You will want a heavier coat for periods of rest or inactivity. The Columbia sportswear Chelan Parka ($165) or the Wy'East Parka ($200) or the REI Selkirk Parka ($120) are some parkas to consider. Depending on metabolism, activity and other clothing you may want to use a lighter outer coat such as the Patagonia Shelled Synchilla Jacket ($125).
Hats and Facemasks
Columbia clothing company has been coming on strong recently with an excellent line of outdoor clothes at reasonable prices. One of their most notable contributions is the "Yazoo", bomber style hat (~$25). This hat is the fleece lined, Gore-tex shelled hat that can be velcro fastened under your chin. For moderate conditions, this hat alone will keep you warm and protected from the wind. As conditions become colder and windier, a pile or polypro balaclava worn underneath this hat will insure comfort well into very severe conditions. These hats are made equally well by other companies, Columbia has just been a big player in the market.
Combined with a hat, should be a face mask. The most popular and successful masks are the neoprene style for ~$10. These are a necessity in cold and windy situations, and are small enough to keep in a handy pocket. They have the advantage of not collecting moisture the same way as a cloth scarf will and, combined with a pair of goggles, your face can be completely protected from wind with relative comfort being maintained for hours.
A pair of polypro glove liners (they come in different weights, $5 - $15 per pair) worn inside of wool mittens, in turn worn inside of a leather of synthetic shell is a successful combination. The wool mitts and shells should fit easily over the liners so that they may be doffed and donned easily and frequently. If the shells have a draw string of some sort near the wrist or on the forearm, then they will hold themselves on and keep snow out when necessary. The liners alone will allow for all but the finest work with surprising comfort for their thickness. A pair of these liners could easily be worn out in two weeks, so bring several pairs; both as backup and for consumption. At least two complete pairs of mitts and shell should be brought. Wool mitts and leather shells are probably the cheapest, most effective way to go.
Some alternative gloves include neoprene gloves (similar to the facemasks, seen recently in camouflage in the hunting section of L. L. Bean's for $15) which may prove to be useful in handling core. Chouinard now also makes some very high quality Shell Gloves and Mittens with liners (~$60, available from L.L. Bean, at least) which have been proven to allow reasonable dexterity and excellent comfort, even for extended periods. Army style wool gloves are available from Mass Army Navy and other surplus store for $3 a pair and are useful for work that will wear out gloves quickly and save more expensive polypro liners.
Three major boots are recommended. The Tiger Asics (Blue Mukluks of USARP issue) which will be available on loan from USARP Stocks (Deadline for notification of SMO to receive a pair is February 15!!) for the 1989 season. Information on how to buy these boots will be available for the 1990 season and on. Recommended socks for these boots are a pair of polypro liners and a pair of heavy wool outers. They come with a liner "boot" which some people choose to wear and others choose to replace with extra socks.
"Mickey Mouse" or "Bunny" boots are a long time standard and can pretty well be guaranteed of keeping you feet warm under any conditions, including total immersion in water. Since the insulation is sealed from the environment, it can not get wet and thus lose its insulation ability. The main disadvantages of Mouse boots is that being entirely rubber, any moisture produced by your feet tends to stay inside the boot, leaving a distinctly "clammy", if warm, feeling. For these boots, several pairs of thinner, absorbant socks are recommended. Only one pair of socks is needed in the boot, but several pairs are needed to change into. The main advantage of Mouse boots is that they will keep your feet warm; regardless of conditions. They are available new from Cabela's ($150) and used from Mass Army Navy ($45). The Glacier Research Group at UNH has a few extra pairs which they will be happy to loan on a first come, first serve basis. Contact the SMO for details.
A third option are the Arctic Sorrels. These are a beefed up version of the rubber and leather, felt lined boots seen at ski areas and hockey games. These are comparable to the Tiger Asics in that they breath, leaving your feet less "clammy", but can lose their ability to insulate if the get wet. An advantage to the Sorrels is that they have liners which can be replaced. While the Asics have insoles which can be replaced, insulation in the upper is an integral part of the boot. Many versions of this style of boot are available from Cabela's for $50 to $70.
A minimum of two pairs of eye protection should be brought, at least one of which is a pair of goggles. Goggles have the advantages of not fogging up as easily as glasses, and provide your face with complete protection from the wind when combined with a face mask. Lenses should remove 100% of harmful UV in addition to reducing light levels considerably. Goggles cost from $20 - $70, sunglasses about the same.
Since the GISP2 site is at ~3200 meters, sunlight will not have been attenuated as greatly as it would have been at sea level. Further, the all-snow surface re-reflects light; the net result is that sunburn (and snowblindness) can easily occur; and occur under your chin and the bottom and insides of your nose. Sunburn has even occurred on the roof of climbers mouths as they hike with their mouths open! The dry conditions combined with cold and sun will also quickly result in chapped lips. Bring good sunblock and lip protection. Sunblock #15 is the minimum recommended.
Insulated jump suits may be a good item to purchase. They are easy to get into and out of, they are warm and will take the abuse that you would rather not give to other more expensive clothes. These may be particularly useful for core processing (since the drilling fluid looks like it will be DFA). These suits cost $137 from Refrigiware. Five suits will be procured via PICO for general use, 3 large, 2 extra large.
Everyone will be responsible for their own sleeping bags. While many high quality, and expensive bags are available, there are a few which are also quite good, yet not so expensive. Bags in this category are available from Campmor and Cabela's at least. From Campmor, the "Slumberjack Expedition 600" ($150) and the "Slumberjack Minus 20 ($90) and from Cabela's the Arctic (-30 rating, $150) and the Summit (-20 rating , $120) are available. The tents and shelters at the GISP2 site provide wind protection and can often be many degrees warmer than outside temperatures. Liners may also be put inside sleeping bags to add to their insulative ability. One is available from Coast Mountain, the CM Pile Liner, for $49[Canadian]) All personnel will be supplied with a cot and 2 large ensolite pads, which makes for a good arrangement.
Another option is a company in Grand Junction, CO called Wiggy's. They manufacture a laminated construction bag, which has many advantages over traditional designs. They are willing to sell their Ultima Thule (-20) bag to members of the GISP2 team for ~$90 (you must purchase items with a University, or other institutional purchase order). They are also willing to make any item you have designed or would like replicated at good rates.
These will be worn for the 1989 core processing line, and will be provided for your use.
Where to Buy:
Chouinard and Patagonia are top-of-the-line goods. Ordering directly from these companies is rumored to be difficult; they tend to focus on sales from retail stores. Remember, when making purchases via mail order, ask whether items are in stock, about delivery times, etc. Other merchants, such as REI, Campmor, Cabela's, L.L. Bean, and Eddie Bauer do a big business in mail order and thus are fairly safe bets. REI, EMS, and Eddie Bauer can be found in many locations nation wide. A call to these merchants will tell you if one is in your area. Ordering several catalogs, and visiting local sporting goods stores will tell you a lot about price and what is on the market. Many stores carry fact sheets such as the one included with this manual discussing the advantages of different materials, and strategies for staying warm. Picking up a few of these will also be useful. The North Face company makes excellent quality jackets, shells, and sleeping bags (as well as packs). Marmot Mountain works makes similarly high quality shells and sleeping bags.
Buying cold weather gear at this time of the year has advantages and disadvantages. Because it is the off season, you will likely find many items on sale, but also find many items out of stock. If you have trouble locating an item, or deciding what to buy, contact the Science Management Office for assistance.
Medical examinations will be required by NSF and forms will follow shortly.
Each institution involved in GISP2 should investigate its coverage with respect to GISP2. Specific insurance concerns for those in the field (Greenland) that should be addressed include: medical insurance (probably covered by workman's compensation), life insurance, and liability. Liability coverage should include injuries or damage which is caused by members of your group to others in your group and to third parties. These coverages are the responsibility of each institution and not of UNH or the Science Management Office.
The plans for the GISP2 camp at Summit for the 1989 season are not yet complete, however, much can be said about conditions that will prevail. There will be a galley/work space which will be heated, and several tents (Scott tents, and perhaps some large Moss tents) for berthing. There will, of course, be the science trench. There will be no shower or clothes washing facilities; however, limited washing can be done in basins. It promises to be a great camp, and we look forward to seeing you all there!