09 August 2008

A short day of showing Tim the study sites

Lynn, Pete and Tim standing in front of Cueva Lechuza de Campanario.

Today was a short day. John leaves for Peru tonight, and we called it a short day so that we could hold our end of expedition meeting during the late afternoon.

Preparing to hike to the caves with Knutt in the horse stance. Credit: Tim Titus.

The sensor deployment team (Tim, Lynn, Pete and I) went to Cueva Lechuza de Campanario to show Tim the cave, as well as show him where sensors were placed. This took us about an hour to go through the cave. We ultimately decided to move one of the entrance sensors to the surface on the back portion of the cave. There were four entrances/ skylights on the upper portion of the cave – so, we decided we needed a surface sensor here as well.

Stair stepping up a near vertical salt landscape to place a sensor above one of the cave's entrances. Credit: Tim Titus.

Lynn, Pete and I hiking back to the truck. Credit: Tim Titus.

Once this was done, we went to Cuevita de Huecos to show Tim where these sensors were placed. Thereafter, we stopped by the ever alluring pit. This pit, for some reason, keeps drawing us to it. We are hopeful that we will be able to drop this pit on the last day.

Lynn and I amid a cauliflower salt formation. Credit: Pete Polsgrove.

The mapping team had the day off from mapping. They were the cave exploration team (Christina, Dan and Knutt) for the day. They went to Cueva Luna Media to find the upper entrance to this feature, and deploy sensors within. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful. They did not find the upper entrance. This cave went and went. They spend 2.5 hr looking for the upper entrance. Apparently, this cave will be a beast to map. However, this will have to wait until next year.

Yet another beautiful view of the Atacama, and an excellent example of how the water sculpts the Cordillera de los Andes.

With John leaving today, we are about to hold our last expedition meeting. We are going to discuss what went wrong, what went right, and how to improve future expeditions. I plan to continue to lead expeditions across the globe. With each expedition under my belt, I will become better at leading expeditions. So, this exercise will be very important to me.

Lynn, Pete and I checking out the big pit. This is one we hope to rappel into before the end of the expedition. If not, we will definately be doing this next year! Credit: Tim Titus.

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