January on the Tundra

Jan 12, 2013 | 1 comment

January has been an interesting month so far. Work has been moderately busy with various publication-related projects, but otherwise relatively uneventful. The last couple weekends have been warm enough to bring on winter storms and thus great snowshoeing opportunities. 
Battling the blowing snow

Last weekend the wind was extremely strong, probably a steady 20-30mph with even higher gusts. Snowshoeing up a mountain proved to be a trying task, but great fun nonetheless.

Up we go!


There were these snow tornadoes (“snownadoes” we dubbed them) that would come spinning up out of nowhere on the harsh wind. It was really cool, unless you got caught in the middle of one, in which case it was just cold and icy and you couldn’t see anything for a few seconds.

The Kigluaik Mountain Range

Once we got to the top of the ridge, the view was spectacular. The Bering Sea far away to the south, and the Kigs range to the north. Even more incredible, when we crossed to windward side of the ridge, the wind was  driving at probably 60mph up over the mountaintop! It was strong enough to push me over, and I could lean against it with all my weight and my arms out and it would hold me up! Most amazing feeling in the world — it felt almost as if I could just jump up and fly away on it (except that it probably would have just thrown me back against the rocks!). I wish I had gotten a picture of everyone leaning against the wind, but it was so cold and icy with blowing snow that I didn’t want to risk taking the camera out.

Abandoned tour bus
The next day conditions were worse, so we took a lower-key excursion out closer to town. One of our friends knew of this abandoned tourist trap that hasn’t been used in probably the last 5-10 years or so. There were broken down tour buses, gold panning troughs, a tourist train, and other such kitschy things
Abandoned building

Tourist trains
You know you live on the tundra when…

This weekend we’re in yet another winter storm warning so I’m not sure if we’ll make it out. The wind has been nearly constant all week, driving at a good 25ish mph — so steadily that the icicles on buildings have frozen sideways!

Doodles of Summer Past

And finally to finish off, I thought I would include a little doodle I did the other day of the summer… Certainly not a masterpiece, but it was fun to reminisce and try to tie everything together in one picture.

Until next time, happy adventuring!

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Bravo, Andrea! (I turn on the central heat when the temperature drops below 70 degrees here in Bradenton, Florida)(and after reading your most recent post, I am most certainly ashamed of myself)!

    With Love, GPED

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