Today at 10AM EST the advance team of Dr Tim Kileen, Peter Hardy, David Beverly Sr, Gunther Kletetschka and Peter Wasilewski breached the rim of the crater. Coming in low and fast on board HU-1 helicopters out of Puerto Araona the team had a few tense moments due to the dense thickets of foliage on the ground which impeded landing. After several harrowing tries the pilots were finally able to squeeze through, past the snarl of tree limbs, and touch down. The conditions on the ground are quite extreme with very high heat and humidity.
The main body of the ICE2002 team had reached Palmasola last night after a 12 hour odyssey on the Manupare River. Due to extremely low water levels the trip downriver from Puerto Araona became an arduous stop and go ordeal composed of intermittent paddling and carrying. One of the propellers on a motorized cargo boat was shattered by rocks in the shallow riverbed further delaying the group. The weary team finally arrived after nightfall in Palmasola. A bright spot of the journey was the discovery of some interesting rocks that could aid in uncovering the mystery of the crater. This morning, after a brief rest, this part of the team will hike into the crater and link up with the advance team.
The ICE 2002 team will be sending back pictures and info this evening so stay tuned and check back tonight or tomorrow morning for updates.