Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cusco Arrival

Smooth traveling to Cusco, arriving yesterday on time and with all 11 pieces of baggage! After a quick nap we began hydrating and hiking (slowly), adjusting to the altitude. With the Inti Raymi festival over, Cusco is less busy than we've experience in recent years. The second image above provides a unique perspective on our hotel (...actually a compositing mistake, the artistic merit of which we are debating).

Arriving before us from Scripps is another member of our group, Dave Chadwell. Dave was a member of the 1983 team which drilled Quelccaya's first ice core, and is back with high-accuracy GPS equipment attempting to relocate his strain network on the glacier and assess the magnitude of thinning over ~20 years. It has been very pleasant getting to know him, and we look forward to having him Dave along.

The next few days will be filled by organizing and acclimatizing, with departure for the field on Friday.

[UPDATE Tues. evening:  we had a brief chance to meet with Meredith Kelly (Dartmouth College) and Colby Smith this morning, on their way through Cusco after a very successful effort coring lakes around the Quelccaya margin. Temperatures were lower than normal until this week, with the snowline still right at the ice margin.]

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