Live Tracker

A New Road to Umiat

4/18/2016

We departed Toolik under blue skies and moderate temps. Sundogs were visible when looking back to check sleds and companions.

Toolik departure sundog

Crossing the Itkillik River, lower visibility set in along with 2007 burn tundra, which is rougher and shrubby vegetation. First sticking point came at the crossing the Anaktuvuk River channel. We figured it out after a bit with only an hour and perspiration expended.

traveling across the Anakatuvuk River

ready to cruise after pit stop

We made it to our intended campsite by about 10PM, spent 2 hours assembling our tents and stoves, and were eating a hearty dinner complements of PF Chang by midnight.

camp

Measuring snow, ice, and permafrost on lakes above and adjacent the Colville River yesterday provide much information on what happened over the winter and since long ago.

Ice coring and thermal profiles

oversaturation bubbles in grounded ice core

Field work went well and completed all work by this afternoon.  Snow is always deep around this area, but was even more so this year. Because of this we also measured very thin ice thicknesses, just about 3 feet. Snow tends to be the biggest factor affecting ice growth.

No critters but lots of tracks along the Colville.  We packed camp and slid down the steep bluff to Umiat, shuttling sleds to avoid momentum issues. Richard K was working on a Colville River station as we arrived, unloaded sleds and loaded some more fuel for the next leg to Inigok tomorrow.

The Mayor of Umiat taking care of businessfueling up in Umiat thanks to RK!