Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter Life in the Arctic

End of September we had our first snowfall. More than 70% of my fellow coworkers left for warmer grounds. Coldfoot was left with a crew of nine.

Coldfoot Camp in early winter
Winter up here is laid-back, calm, peaceful, relaxed. It's a mix of crew men, truckers, wild mountains, miners and the odd college grad. The temperature dropped to -40 F/C and is currently hovering around -30. The lowest recorded temp for the US was recorded to be -81 F five miles south of Coldfoot a few years back.
View from my bedroom window


It's very dry, so you don't feel the cold as long as you dress warmly, although I got some frost nip from a bracelet I was wearing skiing. I learned my lesson not to keep metal objects near exposed skin.

White Mascara









We lose about 15 minutes of sunlight/day, and very soon the sun will never rise. The darkness isn't what I expected. Because of the snow we have about 4 hours of twilight to snowshoe, xc ski, play hockey and dog mush. Sleep schedules get screwed up. I've been known to go to work at 3am.

Last rays of sunlight of the year

On the tundra
Middle of October I was sent up to work at the Arctic Ocean in Deadhorse. I didn't see another female for 4 weeks, worked with 2 other people, worked 7 days a week. The North Slope was extreme, but isolation is often a good thing.

Hitchhiking to the Arctic Ocean
50 mph winds 




 Miscellaneous pics:

Sundance

Emma Dome (climbed it)



Ashley and I with some yoga balls

Snowshoeing
I try out Cory's glasses

Tree-hugger


Snowshoeing with Sundance
Skiing near a creek in Coldfoot

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