Skip to content

A most special Mother's day

Published: at 08:24 PM

The ICECAPS team had a video call with the moms in our lives for mothers day. We gave them a camp tour then brought them into our main tent to talk and answer questions. This is a guest post written by Tina Hilding. Tina is Von’s wife and the mother of his children. She has supported his work in cold places for decades.

When Von started his field work in Antarctica more than 30 years ago, we used to talk via ham radio, and I don’t think we had Internet or e-mail. So what a special Mother’s Day treat for me and the team’s moms from around the world to call in to the Greenland Ice Sheet for a personalized video tour of the remote field camp at Raven!

Like the work they did for their field program, the team carefully planned the logistics for a successful afternoon tour.

Von Walden, the author of this blog, shovels snow for anchoring the solar panels during a wind storm

Smiling moms say hello to the installation team in their tent.

First on the list — making sure that all the moms got online and into the meeting.

We were then given a virtual tour of all the facilities. We headed outside to see the power system, the load of batteries, and sophisticated instrumentation platform and heard a wonderful explanation of the science underway. They gave us a view of camp life – tents, food storage, and the cooking setup.

Though we couldn’t feel the chill, we did get a small taste of the bleakness. And we hung out with the team in the camp tent, enjoying laughs and fun almost as if we were there. We heard stories of combat cargo drops from the C130 (they didn’t have to jump out) and the time when a water heater for tea blew up the science power system.

Of course, moms everywhere want to know whether everyone is warm enough (they are!) and if they’re sleeping well enough with all that daylight (they are).

The team also thanked the moms for their hard work. I’m pretty sure most of the moms haven’t camped at -35, but they did some pretty amazing work in supporting their kids in those important first steps to Greenland. Michael’s mom let him take apart everything in the house — and he sometimes put it back together. The researchers learned stubborn tenacity or a sense of adventure from Mom.

Thanks to the ICECAPS-MELT team for the very special Mother’s Day adventure!

Andrew answers questions by video call for the moms

Andrew explains exactly how many of the half-a-million calories he has eaten in the last weeks.