National Geographic : 1956 Jan
The next summer-1951 -the expedition was back on the icecap under Gaston Rouillon. The plans were to close the Station, since funds for the purpose were running out, but first to make as many observations as feasible there and to add many miles to our lines of seismic soundings to make possible a map of the bed rock under the ice. This was to be our last great summer of activity on the icecap. In 1952 and 1953 small groups of five went back for more work in the marginal zones, while others and myself, in coop eration with Georgetown University in Washington, D. C., and Stanford Re search Institute in Califor nia, went to Thule and the northernmost part of the icecap for research of scien tific and U. S. Army Trans portation Corps interest. In the process, another round trip crossing of the icecap was made. Tragedy Strikes As the summer of 1951 was running to an end, I could contemplate the past four years with satisfac tion. The Expeditions Po laires Francaises had had four major summer expedi tions and two winterings on the icecap of Greenland. Simultaneously we had had three (later four) summer expeditions to the Antarc tic and two (later three) consecutive major winter ings there, on Adelie Coast, without an accident. I was thinking of my good star in this matter while I was in Iceland that summer, arranging for air support, when word came that a weasel with two men 145 Jacques Masson Snow Drillers Probe the Icecap with a One-ton Plunger To study layers of ice and take samples, expedition members descended into a pit three feet wide and 100 feet deep. Dropped like a clamshell bucket, this digger scoops up ice and snow. Here its articulated blades fly open, depositing the load in a sled atop the hole.