The Omar spike camp, winding down

Kiana Travel Blog

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The Omar River

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.

Evidence of moved mountains by tectonic forces.


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.

Jagged outcrops of unnamed mountains.
This month they are slowly converging into massive herds in preparation for their fall migration. Some of them will traverse the Baird Mountains. Unfortunately when they begin to appear, we will have to shut down our entire operation so as not to disturb or interfere with their passage. The caribou will appear as a few stragglers at first then rapidly grow into a herd of more than half a million to cross the Kobuk River right here where our Kiana camp sits.


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. 

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The Omar River
The Omar River
Evidence of moved mountains by tec…
Evidence of moved mountains by te…
Jagged outcrops of unnamed mountai…
Jagged outcrops of unnamed mounta…
Unnamed drainage in the Baird Moun…
Unnamed drainage in the Baird Mou…
photo by: rotorhead85