|In 1961, the camp had 125 buildings, which could house up to 500 men, consisted of rows of what looked like orange cardboard boxes.
The prefab building were surrounded by larger and smaller special buildings which consisted of workshops and garages.
All the houses were tethered to the ground with steel wires. And ropes were stretched out between the buildings to serve as a lifeline during passage from one house to another when the weather was at its worst.
Wooden walkways were needed to cross-ponds that formed in the barracks area.
The camp was, however, equipped with all modern facilities such as electricity, hot and cold water supply.
Furthermore there was a church, a library and a store. Fresh fruit and vegetables were served on a daily basis in the dining hall.
The name "Camp Tuto" comes from "Thule take off".
The reason for the camp's location is easy access to the ice cap, which at the camp site rises at a steady 6 percent angle; where the ice cap in most other places presents itself as a tall, inaccessible wall.
Camp Tuto was founded and run by the US Army Polar Research and Development Center.
It later reorganized under the new name of Army Research Support Group, USARSG.
Initially it served as a rendezvous and research base for exploration of the ice cap.
Researchers excavated a pit 100 feet deep in the Greenland snow to determine temperature, density, hardness, strength and permeability of the snow.
Later a permafrost tunnel was excavated to serve two main objectives, First to study the structure of permafrost from the inside" and second, to evaluate methods of excavation and construction in permafrost.
While only the access "chimney" of the tunnel was visible for years (no longer visible today) the entire mouth was accessible when the tunnel was built in the 1950s.
Show has drifted in and blocked the tunnel so people had to dig it out to gain access.
The tunnel was one of the area's "tourist attractions". Although permafrost is as hard as concrete, ordinary hard rock mining techniques do not work.
The tunnel excavation was used to determine the optimum blasting hole patterns and the size charges necessary.
The ice crystals on the ceiling extend down the wall and stop abruptly at a straight line. The line marks the bottom of the "bubble" of water vapor, which exists in any trapped still air.
Any ice which forms below that line will sublime, and the water vapor, being lighter than air, will rise and re-freeze near the ceiling.
The temperature in the tunnel stayed between 11 and 14 degrees Fahrenheit year round and the tunnel is about 650 feet long. In the main tunnel the wooden cribs were used to store ice cores taken from the ice cap.
The odor in the tunnel is fuel, oil and dynamite, but there is no danger.
There has been no fuel, oil or dynamite in the tunnel for decades.
But because of the still air and low temperature the odor lingers.
The rails and mine car were used to haul debris out, and were pushed by hand.
As you walk back in the tunnel, the bottom line of the frost is getting closer to the floor.
Since the line is dead level, this shows how much the floor rises.
The structure that resembles a small covered bed was used a storage for blasting caps.
The cover protected the caps from any debris, which might have fallen from the ceiling.
Even with al the blasting they din in the tunnel they never had any falling debris out side the blast zone.
At the end of the tunnel on the right, the yellow concrete block wall was put in place to convert one branch of the tunnel into a laboratory and office space.
Of course the blocks are not blocks at all, but are cast permafrost.
The furniture in the room is all cast permafrost.
The table makes an excellent microscope and there used to be a permafrost chair in there.
Even the Corps of Engineers emblem on the wall is case permafrost, and it was "glued" on with water.
The sign over the door at the end of the tunnel says to keep out but we will go in anyway.
This room was the last work done in the tunnel
It was blasted out initially as 50 feet by 60 feet with three large columns left in the room.
The columns were then blasted away to test the strength of the ceiling and the ceiling held.
Only a narrow path was cleared of loose material and protrusions. Sensitive instrumentation was installed to measure any movement of the ceiling; it was on the metal columns.
The tunnel was closed immediately after.
The ceiling had dropped a couple of thousandths of an inch, but that the stability of the tunnel indicated it should last thousands of years or until Greenland thaws out.
Resident said it was an incredible experience to wonder through the tunnel, which went deep into the glacier.
The ceiling, the floor and the walls consisted of ice that sparkled in a great variety of colors caused by the dim lighting from the electrical light bulbs in the tunnel.
The walls and the ceiling were in many places covered by draperies of ice crystals that float though the air at the slightest movement or touch.
At one end an "Ice Chapel" was constructed; over the years visitors would routinely place various "artifacts" on the abandoned altar.
In the tunnel a lot of experiments have been carried out regarding the permafrost and its effect on storage of foods, fuels, explosives, and many other things.
Different types of houses, insulation materials, and Arctic equipment have been tested here.
Furthermore a great number of experiments on glaciological measurements of the ice and its deformations have been performed in the tunnel.
At Camp Tuto, Army engineers devised a building material, "permacrete", for use in Arctic regions.
A mixture of sand, gravel, and water, it can be poured and cast like concrete.
When frozen it have characteristics of permafrost.
Research results led directly to the construction of Camp Century.
In addition some of the research projects included
Radio Propagation Station I: this project employed 9 men full time who set up the Ionoprobe C4 which was used for regular measurement of the electron density profile of the ionosphere
Radioactivity monitor - used to collect air and dust samples for analysis
Wind recorder used for continues registration of wind speed and direction.
HF phase stable project: determining movements in the ionosphere by measurement of Doppler shift consisting of radio waves from a transmitter at Camp Tuto and a receiver in Palo Alto, California.
Camp Tuto was closed as an all year camp in 1965, though the Ionosphere station kept up its activities throughout the winter of 65/66 after which also this part of the station was closed.
It continued to serve as the base camp and take off point for Camp Century until its phasing out in 1966-67.
Little remains today at Camp Tuto.
There is a runway, a Bailey Bridge, concrete building pads, a tall post possibly part of an antenna that permitted communications to operations on the ice cap and the large earthen ramp that provided access to the ice ca p.
The sled base of a wannigan (a boxcar-like structure used for transportation across the ice cap) is part of a future memorial to be dedicated at Camp Tuto near the base of the tall post.
On the ice cap at the terminus of the ice ramp are the bases of two more wannigans (to be pulled off the ice cap this summer.)
Wannigans were hooked together like boxcars in a train and pulled by low ground pressure (LGP) D-8s and D-9 caterpillar tractors.
These trains or convoys were called "heavy" or "light swings" and made possible the transport of all materials and supplies from Camp Tuto to Camp Century and other research and training areas on the ice.