Middle Kuskokwim Winter Trail Marking Project Begins*

December 6: trail marker on the alternate overland route - due to another late freeze up the Middle Kuskokwim was unsafe for River travel until just recently

December 6: trail marker on the alternate overland route – due to another late freeze up the Middle Kuskokwim was unsafe for River travel until just recently.

With the steady, cold temperatures finally settling in during the first week of December the Middle Kuskokwim has begun to open up for winter travel. Conditions are still marginal with many open leads and long sections of rough ice. With more and more People out traveling on the River the Native Village of Napaimute began initial work on our 2015-16 Middle Kuskokwim Trail Marking Project. This work included assessment of general River conditions and open water marking. With the late freeze up there are more open holes than usual and it is our intention to get these marked prior to any trail marking. Here are some pictures showing conditions in the Middle Kuskokwim (click on the pictures to get a better image):

mountain of ice near the upper mouth of the Kolmokofsky River. L-R: Kory Morrow, Dakota Phillips, Megan Leary

Mountain of ice near the upper mouth of the Kolmokofsky River. L-R: Kory Morrow, Dakota Phillips, Megan Leary

5 miles below Napaimute there is a large split in the ice across the entire River. This occurred on November 29th when the River began to break up after extended warm weather

5 miles below Napaimute there is a large split in the ice across the entire River. This occurred on November 29th when the River began to break up after extended warm weather. Above this point the ice did major shifting. It’s all freezing back together now.

Rough conditions in the areas where the ice broke up and refroze

Rough conditions in the areas where the ice broke up and refroze

Piles of ice at the Napaimute gravel pit

Piles of ice at the Napaimute gravel pit

Marking the 6 open leads in the 10 mile stretch between Aniak & Chuathbaluk, L-R: Jeffrey Hunter and Cameron Phillips

Marking the 6 open leads in the 10 mile stretch between Aniak & Chuathbaluk, L-R: Jeffrey Hunter and Cameron Phillips

Many moose were seen along the River - the Middle Kuskokwim moose population seems to be rebuilding

Many moose were seen along the River – the Middle Kuskokwim moose population seems to be rebuilding

That’s the report for now. We will provide updates as conditions improve and more trail work gets done. For more trail information call: 545-2877

Thank you.

*Middle Kuskokwim Trail Marking Project funded through a grant from the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation

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