Sunday 11 May 2014

Warming Up

For the first time for several weeks it did not freeze last night. Today at breakfast the air temperature was 4⁰C and a damp fog hangs over the camp. There are a few puddles forming around the duck boards and it is definitely welly boot time for work about camp. We had an hour or so of slushy, wet snow fall yesterday and the forecast remains for rain later today – just how much we get is yet to be seen, but we really need a good few hours of heavy rain to kick things off.

The river at the village
Looking at the river right in front of camp it is very easy to forget just what the situation is a mile or so upstream. At the village and from there up-stream the river remains frozen over, with only the odd clear area where the faster water of the rapids has cleared the ice. The good news is that walking across the ice from one side of the village to the other is now offically banned, a sure sign that the break will come soon. When it starts to move it will be an awe-inspiring sight. Today we will make sure that personal valuables are in grab bags and that precious electrical and other items are placed high on the storage shelves. The boats will remain tied up on their sides well back from the river. The risk of an ice blockage and flood, although slim, is always present.

Bill and Terry testing the helicopter
Terry mounted a Go-Pro camera on his remote control helicopter and tried the first flight in Russian airspace yesterday, it is a remarkable bit of kit and he is pretty skilled at flying it. We experimented with some shots of camp, today he might be bold enough to try it high over the river to get some photos of Heli Pool, but we will have to wait for the fog to clear.

Heli with the Go-Pro
It seems very strange not to have Alan J and Michael H and all the ‘Slipper Gang’ here with us on this first week in Lower Camp. But rather than kicking our heels we have quite a list of jobs that need doing and we will take the unwanted free time to get them done. Bill and Terry have assigned themselves some carpentry tasks today – I’ll let you know how they have got on tomorrow.

The main lodge yesterday
Christopher Robinson