Base seemed quiet this morning, as it probably is every June 22nd. Some people had planned to take the morning off – the rest wish they had – but eventually we all creaked out of bed. Team Shrub only have 24 hours until we’re leaving for a 5 day trip to Pika Camp, and we’re not exactly ready. Yesterday afternoon’s work was written off to prepare for the solstice party, which didn’t help, but we can’t escape the feeling that staying up all night playing rugby and burning a giant cardboard goat had more of an influence.

The mountain goat effigy from the solstice party

Seeing as solstices and equinoxes can bring out our inner pagan – any Edinburgher who’s been to Beltane or Samhuinn will agree – what could be a better celebration than a fire? Our answer was with multiple fires, lots of beer, and a piñata.

We were joined by visitors of all ages from local towns and other nearby research facilities, and after a titanic game of touch rugby, the first bonfire was lit and Lance’s infamous white lightning started flowing. We spent hours looking for the perfect spot between having a cold, bug-bitten back, and being slowly grilled, but the feeling of people coming together to sit and laugh round a fire was timeless – craft beer and Gortex aside.

The view across Kluane lake today: a forest fire in Alaska sent a load of smoke over here

By Joe