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Kaktovik Ice

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Climbing Sections:

About Kaktovik Ice:

Kaktovik is a native village situated on the northeast corner of Barter Island which is located in the Arctic Ocean on the northern most edge of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). One quarter of a mile south of the village, the local sewer plant dumps its refined sewage water off the east edge of the island into the Kaktovik Lagoon. The mostly clean water runs through a heated pipe then as it spills out it quickly freezes in the cold arctic air and forms a sizable icicle twenty feet tall and about fifteen feet in diameter depending on the year and wind direction. The ice formation is constantly changing as the water flows year round. There are hours of fun for any village bound soul who desires adventure without the means or time for the 50 mile snowmobile ride to the Brooks Range Mountains.
Nearest town or city: Kaktovik
Directions: Kaktovik is located on the east end of Alaska's North Slope within the northern boundaries of ANWR. As of the end of 2010 there are no roads nor ice roads to the village and Arctic Ocean open water passage is only available July - October though not commercially, i.e. only thawed for private boat travel. Hence the primary way of travel to Kaktovik is by airplane. Currently the only regular air service is through Era Alaska by way of Fairbanks or Deadhorse and is expensive (January 2011 price: $650 round trip from Fairbanks). Other options are by ski traverse of the Brooks Range from Arctic Village, chartered private bush plane or by snowmobile from Deadhorse.
Latitude, Longitude: 70.11865, -143.60042
Access Issues: For village residents: none. For everyone else: overall remoteness of arctic bush Alaska... When weather is agreeable there is one small plane that passes through Kaktovik each day on its way both to and from Barrow, but no flights on Sunday. Chilly arctic tundra camping in constant wind is available, but consent of villagers must be obtained as most of the island is privately owned (though not occupied). Firewood in the winter is very hard to come by (no trees) but you can buy gasoline or heet from the KIC fuel office for your camp stove. There are two motels available but a bit spendy. Both motels serve meals and there is one gas station type store and one house store that have food and other various items for sale at remote Alaska prices.
Camping: Yes
When to Climb: Spring Winter
Quantity of Climbs: Day