14-Jul-2011 -- When flying a helicopter, one can land (or at least hover) at just about any degree confluence on the planet. However, there are but 36 (two more if you include 90 N/S) locations on the planet where the lines intersect at equal degrees of tens (i.e. 0 0, 10 10, 20 20, ..... etc).
Arriving at one of these specific locations certainly adds an additional level of difficulty. While working on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada, one of these sites happened to be along one of our routes. On the map 80N 80W lies atop the Agassiz Ice Cap in the midst of a glaciated mountain range somewhere between 4000 and 5000 feet above sea level. Finding a spot flat enough to land might be difficult.
It turned out however that at 80N 80W there lies a plateau blanketed with ice and snow and gently sloping glacier covered peaks all around. It was certainly a good spot to land for lunch. How many feet of ice that lay beneath our boots was unknown, but I am sure it consisted of many hundreds of years of snowfall. If we had brought some shovels and ice skates we could have cleared the thin layer of snow and played some hockey on the thickest ice rink ever!