Ablation of the snow-covered Northern Ice Field during August proceeded more-or-less at the July pace, with a net surface lowering of ~20 cm. One small snowfall event on ~27 August (~3 cm) brightened the surface and retarded ablation for about a week. For the 11 months since our last fieldwork, ~40 cm of accumulation remains, which could result in a positive balance for 2011-12 at the AWS site.
We depart for fieldwork next week. One of our tasks will be to assess the spatial variability of last year's accumulation on the summit glaciers. This promises to be a fun trip, as we will be a group of 6 interesting people - representing 4 different countries - and accompanied by the-one-and-only Simon Mtuy. Discussions in the dining tent will likely continue each night until our teeth are chattering from the cold!