The Omar spike camp, winding down
Kiana Travel Blog› entry 18 of 38 › view all entries
Since the bulk of the exploration work that our geologists are performing is thirty-five miles north from the base camp here on the Kobuk, a 'spike' camp had been set-up. That small tent-camp is located in a picturesque spot just inside the tree-line along the Omar River in the Baird Mountains.
With the arrival of a second helicopter last week, the Omar Camp houses most of the geologists. They work the surrounding mountains by picking and probing hillsides and outcrops, by panning the countless creeks and drainages, and by mapping the many fault-lines and outcrops of bed-rock that have been exposed to the surface by churning tectonic forces within the earth. They are narrowing down the likely spots to probe deeper, next season, when their search for lead, zinc, and copper will intensify by core-drill sampling.
The Baird Mountains make up part of the western end of Alaska's rugged Brooks Range. To the north of that range, and spanning across the entire state, the land is a desolate sea of tree-less tundra which slopes downward to the Arctic Ocean. The North Slope. Four hundred miles to our west, that region contains the oil fields at Prudhoe Bay; the starting point of the Alaska Pipeline which snakes more than 800 miles to its southern terminus at Valdez, a year-round shipping port.
The nearby North Slope also contains countless caribou.
Also with the arrival of the second helicopter, a French-built A-Star belonging to a different helicopter company than ours, our smaller Hughes 500 will be relocating back to Independence Creek camp for the duration of the season. Since Joe had moved on to another job, Matt and I will make the move sometime later this week.