Hiking China Valley + Jade

Saturday was a rough day in the lab.  We were doing a bunch of methods troubleshooting, which is often very discouraging as it often seems you do a lot of work for very little progress.  By evening time my team was downtrodden, so we decided to trek up Jade mountain.  This is a nice hike that is close to camp and can be about a 2-3 hour round trip (depending on how much time you want to dawdle once you reach the top).  Hiking was very cathartic.  We shed the stresses of the day and were greeted at the top of the hill by some spectacular views!

Fireweed in the foreground, with an unknown yellow flower in the background (any suggestions on the identity of the yellow flowers is welcome!)

Fireweed in the foreground, with an unknown yellow flower in the background (any suggestions on the identity of the yellow flowers is welcome!)

Brandon looking like an explorer on the top of Jade.

Brandon looking like an explorer on the top of Jade.

Since our time here at Toolik is short, we haven't been taking much time off.  However, after a long week of troubleshooting, we all needed a day off for mental sanity and decided to continue our hiking streak into the next day.  The deal was sealed when we woke up to a stormy day (which limits what we can accomplish scientifically outdoors).  For most groups at Toolik, Sundays are usually the a day off to take a hike (or take a nap :-).  So, we decided to seize the rather rainy day with a hike up China Valley! 

The view of the Sagavanirktok River from a ridge adjacent to the China Valley.

As we were hiking back to the car, my friend Jason broke into a run to grab something off in the distance.  He grabbed at something in the tundra and came back hauling his prize -- a doll sheep skull with the horns intact!!  All and all it was a fun day of tromping around in the tundra and climbing mountains!

Jason posing with the doll sheep skull -- horns and all!!

Posted on July 23, 2014 .