WACH Report! 4-17-09
Backcountry skiing Kotzebue Style!
I just returned from a all day skiing field trip with my 8th grade class and it was just wonderful and worth sharing. I offer skiing every spring to my 8th graders and every year we take an all day skiing field trip up into Noatak National Park.
It is a highly prized event and the kids work very hard getting in shape for this big day. We put the kids and gear into basket sleds, hook them to sno-gos and head up about 16 miles into the park for a full day of skiing, crashing and memories.
The kids ski 3 loops that include lakes, tundra, lots of trees and some very impressive hills. I am attaching some photos to show off and the last few are of a large herd of caribou that we bumped into late in the day. Well make that 2 herds of caribou. Total was well over 300 animals with group 1 running at over 100 and group 2 pushing 200-250.
The kids made a neat stalk on the larger group and we got with in 80 yards of them and then the spooked and almost ran over us coming with in 10 yards of one of the boys! Very cool!
Enjoy your spring. We have 2-3 weeks before it is all gone as we have over 10 feet of snow in the hills and it is just beginning to warm up!
Who says we donít teach our kids anything about the outdoors in Alaska! Remember that 400,000 caribou and lots of wolves canít be wrong!
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here are some more photos. Look at photo 1's Horizon and look at the lake in the distancs. Lots of bou!
Look carefuly and you see the bou! So close we could almost touch them! Lots of fun of 14 year old kids!~
Looks like a wonderful day for all involved; beautiful country. Thanks for sharing. J.
Great work with the kids Walt. Thanks for sharing the pics.
I just returned from Camp which is up the Little Noatak River about 12 miles from where we were skiing with the kids on Friday.
How can I put thisÖÖ Caribou by the hundreds, Ptarmigan everywhere, plenty of moose, foxes, porcupine and a Marten to boot! It is warm and the world has woken up with a frenzy of activity. At the rate of melt we will be in mud season in 2 weeks. Kotzebue got hammered this winter with the snowiest winter on record! We tripled the average snow fall and we have drifts well over 15 feet high all over town. When it melts it will be a mess! Man I hate mud season in the Arctic!
Well guys I wish you could see what I have seen in the past week! It is truly natures wonder and spring time is only second to fall hunting season when it comes to my favorites!