Carly Onnink skis with a mass balance team. Students dig through the annual snowpack layer with shovels, which they carry on their backs. (Photo by Andrew Opila)

Eye-opening ice

After spending two months on a research expedition in Alaska, UNC-Chapel Hill junior Carly Onnink shares her story of field-based discovery.

The evening light encircled us in a 360-degree sunset of pink and orange over a mountain horizon, a brilliant display against the stark-white ice field in August. We nursed mugs of hot Tang, crowded together on our sleeping pads in a dug-out bench in the snow. As the evening grew cooler, we started to shuffle toward our sleeping bags and tents.

But then someone asked, “Who’s up for a night ski?”

We all buckled up our ski boots and took off, kicking and gliding as the sunset darkened into the night sky. We trekked to a crest with a view of crevasses leading into an ice fall and watched the moon rise between two mountain peaks as lightning flashed among storm clouds too distant to hear — the perfect end to an exciting day collecting ice cores on Alaska’s Juneau Icefield.

Read More

 

Originally published Apr. 25, 2019.

Tags

Accessibility options

Interface
Adjust the interface to make it easier to use for different conditions.
This renders the document in high contrast mode.
This renders the document as white on black
This can help those with trouble processing rapid screen movements.
This loads a font easier to read for people with dyslexia.