Barren Landscape.jpg
Cabin on a lake. In the foreground is comparatively lush growth. The white flecks in the brown are Arctic Cotton Grass.

When I first arrived most of the ground was covered by snow. In a couple of weeks it was mostly gone, barren tundra stretching all about. A couple of weeks ago, we had three straight days of snow. It was the best kind, with large fluffy flakes that fell thickly and softly. I felt as though it should be Christmas. Driving was suddenly quite different. The line between earth and sky was barely distinguishable. Had I been turned upside down I would have been hard put to distinguish a difference. Most excitingly, I was able to get out and ski. Slipping into sturdy three-pin bindings three of us spent an afternoon touring the area.

The GAW Lab can be seen behind me.

Another afternoon was spent on a hike to an ice cave. Really more of a snow-turned-ice cave, it is the remnant of snow in a deep gully formed by glacial runoff. When the spring melt comes, the base is washed out leaving a series of channels. Our hike also took us by some beautiful fresh water lakes. These are almost exclusively replenished by the annual snow melt. The land up here is bare shale sparsely covered with plant matter. On our hikes, the surface underfoot is either snow or terrain similar to the scree slopes of the Rockies.

Looking back down the gully we hiked to get to the ice cave.
Ice cave. The arch is at least 20 feet high.

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