2 April 2007

Camp 18 Location: 65 10'N 123 25'W

Distance today about 113km (70 miles)

Weather: Morning Temp -28C (-18F) Afternoon High -11C (+12F) Lots of Sun.

SnowSTAR accomplished another major goal this afternoon, reaching Great Bear Lake and the community of De'line (pronounced DAY La NAY) formerly known as Fort Franklin. Great Bear Lake is the largest lake in Canada and the 7th largest lake in the world. De'line is home to about 650 people and is the only year-round community on the shores of this vast lake--imagine a lake larger than Lake Erie with only one tiny town on its shores! Tonight's soundclip talks about the Great Bear River. We also received a Weather report in Espanol and a dispatch on Animal Tracks. Enjoy

Click Here for Tonight's Soundclip On the Great Bear River

CHUGIAK STUDENTS Click Here for a Weather Report in ESPANOL

Dr. Henry Huntington makes the nightly weather reports in Espanol and sends his greetings to his family and all Chugiak Students!.


Animal Tracks

One of the nice things about traveling in winter is that you see lots of animal tracks. Our machines are noisy, so often the animals move away before we can see them. But in snow, their tracks can last for weeks or longer. We have seen lots of animal tracks, from moose and caribou to wolves and fox, and even ptarmigan tracks. Ptarmigan are small grouse-like birds that live in the Arctic. They have feathers on their feet to help keep them warm in winter.

These photos show some of the ways that tracks appear in snow. The ptarmigan tracks are simply imprints in the snow. You can see where the bird’s talons dragged in the snow between footsteps. These tracks are fresh—they are still detailed, with no sign of blowing snow or any other changes.

The wolf tracks are older. When the wolf walked down the river, there was snow on top of the ice. The wolf footprints compressed the snow, making it harder. Then the wind blew, and the soft snow disappeared, leaving bare ice and the wolf’s tracks.

The caribou paths are a different story. These are not from a single animal, but from hundreds of caribou migrating down this hillside. They make deep ruts in the snow, which of course are easier for the next caribou to walk through, so many of the animals go in the same path, wearing it deeper into the snow.

What kinds of animal tracks can you see where you live?

We have added one additional track (see below). Can you guess what it is?

If you are curious what animal made this track or think you know the answer......email the base camp manager@ [email protected]



Copyright © SnowSTAR.