By: Zach Miller
As anyone who has left the icefield will tell you, there is an undeniable urge to get back to the home away from home as soon as possible. So this year we, the field safety staff: myself, Jon Doty, Annie Boucher, Matt Pickart, and Kate Baustain (Mary Gionatti, another field safety staff, had a conflict), decided that waiting to get back was out of the question. From June 12th-June 15th, we trickled into Juneau. On the 16th, we hiked up the infamous Lemon Creek Trail to Camp 17.
We were greeted by a group of greedy, yet friendly rats. Jack-of-all-trades/engine guru Ben Partan also appeared out of the mist, having been in camp for a few days working on a new fuel containment shed. For four days we hiked, skied, and trundled around the surrounding area and got ourselves ready for the icefield diet.
We even did some work; we cleaned out all of the food tarnished by the winter and by the pack of rats. Furthermore, we erected the radio antenna and cleaned the annual piles of marmot feces at Camp 17A (Big thanks to the high school group last year that cleaned up 17A!)
On June 20th, we hiked out to meet the group of students in Juneau and to officially start JIRP 2014. More updates to come!