Ice

A hole in the ice

On Thin Ice

I have fond memories of strapping on skates to glide over the deep-blue, almost-black pond ice on our Saskatchewan farm.

Ice Cave

On a spring hike to the ice cave near Haines Junction, we found that the ice cave looks more like a bridge. Neither did we cross that bridge nor did we go under it. After reading a CBC news story called “Once a local secret, visitors flock to Haines Junction ice caves,” by Karen McColl …

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A Yukoner at Heart with a Lot to Give

Since graduating from Porter Creek Secondary Nicolai Bronikowski has been working on ship design and transit studies. Through his work in Finland, Russia and Canada he showcases the Yukon’s strong science programs and growing potential as an Arctic research hub. Bronikowski came to the Yukon in 2009 for an exchange year, after finishing Grade 9 …

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Waterbugs in Winter

I use the word ‘bug’ here, to describe little creatures with … legs. Insects, but more than that. Not everything I call ‘bug’ living underneath the ice are insects, some turn out to be crustaceans. In the beginning of October, before it started snowing, there was a brief period when the thermometer dropped below zero …

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Visiting the Glaciers

We always said that when the kids were old enough we would take them for an Alaskan kayaking expedition, just like the one we had gone on before the kids were born. So last summer we did just that, and what we learned is that an eight-year-old and a 13-year-old are awesome ages for such …

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Musings on Ice: A Changing Yukon Winter Story

Ice is important. It allows people and wildlife to use or cross lakes, ponds and rivers. Ice also provides access to what’s below: fish, muskrats and water, for example. Unfortunately, the mild fall temperatures in many parts of Yukon have again delayed ice formation. This isn’t new. Recorded observations of Yukon River freeze-up in Whitehorse …

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Reflections on Harsh Times

Last Friday I returned from a run to find The Frenchman shovelling snow.  The end result is like an iced cake: smooth, precise and clean. It’s peculiar how one can go from being wrapped in one’s tiny world to having a sudden connection with things beyond comprehension. Upon reaching the cabin we found texts from …

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West Dawson Time

I’m not sure where the second week of freeze up has gone. After the protracted nature of my preparations, the flurry of activity upon arrival, and the pleasantly systematic organization of the cabin once here, time itself has taken on a different feel. Maybe it was the sudden transition from fall to winter that came …

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Jewels on the Water

The ice is coming down in a rush this year. While there was not a sign of the stuff in the river on the day they pulled the George Black Ferry out of the Yukon on October 29, it took just a few nights of minus teens temperatures to bring small pans of the greyish …

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Exploring the Bittersweet Beauty of the Juneau Ice Cave

The Zhange Danxia landform in Gansu, China; The Great Blue Hole in Belize; Tulip Fields in the Netherlands; Mount Roraima in Venezuela, Brazil, and Guana, and 23 more places make up a Buzzfeed list of “27 Surreal Places to Visit Before You Die”. Most of the time these placesto-see-before-you-die are oceans away in remote and …

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Dawson Moves Into Puddletime

Dawson has entered that phase of spring I call Puddletime. City workers have been trying to keep up by opening storm drains. The rapidly accumulating melt-water makes its way to the river, but it’s a losing battle. The darn streams freeze up again if the temperature drops significantly at night. It’s hard to think back …

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Cold Water Immersion

The 1-10-1 principle refers to time: one minute, 10 minutes, and one hour. “One minute” deals with cold-water shock; when you first fall into the cold water. There will be an immediate deep gasp followed by hyperventilation and possible panic. Controlling panic and your breathing are critical to survival. This situation will pass in about a …

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Ice; It’s Always Changing

With warm weather things change quickly, as we have seen this year. By mid-December there was a great freeze on most lakes, with little snow. Then the pineapple express brought warm weather and bad ice. But as the weather cooled, the winds came up, and the ice blew clear, so it is back to ideal …

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A Season in the Mist

Freeze-up on the Yukon River is not proceeding according to custom this year. Despite the lack of ice at the regular crossing down by the ferry landing in Dawson City, people did begin to cross the river south of the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike about two and a half weeks after the George …

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Roofalanches

You might not expect to have to worry too much about falling snow in the Klondike in April. After all, this is not Alberta, where blizzards in the middle of April are common events. Yes, it snowed on the morning of Easter Sunday here in Dawson, but it had turned to drizzle by noon when …

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Driving Depends on Icy Conditions

It’s hard to think of an icy road as being anything but dangerous, but that’s not always the case. In Dawson City it can go both ways. For those wanting to drive from downtown to the Midnight Dome subdivisions, Mary McLeod Road is often the preferred route, especially for those who live along the stretch …

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