Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Getting Ice


Uyaana's Ahna (grandmother) Lena lives in camp year round. Her camp is located on a small slough near the mouth of the Noatak River.

One of the winter chores at camp is making sure there is enough water for cooking, drinking and cleaning. There are a few ways you can do this. You could drill a hole in the slough, but the water in this slough isn't all that great and the ice is several feet thick so you need an auger. Ahna usually melts snow in buckets. This is not the best method because the snow to water yield is low but it is the easiest for her to do herself.

While we were there we helped Ahna chip ice for water. Here is Uyaana and Ahna Lena on our way to get ice.

We went a little ways from the cabin where a creek flows out from the tundra. We found a clear patch of ice with a nice big crack.

It is best to chip along a crack because you can get big chunks of ice to come off.
You chip the ice and put the pig pieces in a box and all the little chips and ice dust into buckets and bring them back to the cabin so they can be melted for water.

We use a tuuq (kinda pronounced too-ook)to chip the ice. It is basically just a long metal shaft with a sharp metal chisel at the end. Here is Uyaana taking his turn with the tuuq. Unfortunately our tuuq needs some sharpening so it's a lot of work. He didn't last long.

He gave up and wandered off to play on the ice.

Here is Kookie taking a turn.



Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

Cool pictures. Another "snapshot" of life at camp in AK. Thanks.


AussieAlaskan said...

Gives a whole new perspective to "running water".

Anonymous said...

fish-or chip ice --The Calif guy

lys93 said...

Now I have a new name for what I always called "the ice chipper"..tuuq. Much classier sounding. Here in Illinois we use it to hurry the melting of the ice on the driveway so one doesn't fall when going for the newspapers.

Daily I check your temperature...some days lately we have been colder than you!

Becky said...

I'm so glad that you make sure your boy gets a taste for his ancestors way of life.

A great 'slice' of Alaskan life. Loved it.