Alaska’s southernmost ice field, Stikine – coordinates 57°04’N 132°13’W, is one of the three biggest icecaps in Alaska. Its southern location and relatively low elevation make it vulnerable to changing climate. It is demanding and dangerous, located on the Alaska-British Columbia boundary in the Alaska Panhandle region. The Stikine is North America’s version of Patagonia; spectacular with many impressive spires, most famously the Devil’s Thumb.
The Stikine river
A haven for wildlife
Stikine River, or Stik-Heen, which means ‘Great River’ in Tlingit. The Stikine River certainly lives up to its name. Traveling 400 miles from headwaters in British Columbia to its mouth near Wrangell, it continues to carve its channel through glacial valleys and delta flats.
The delta is a haven for over 120 species of migrating birds in the spring and fall, including tundra swans, Canadian geese, sandhill cranes, mergansers, waterfowl and over 150,000 shorebirds. In April, the second largest concentration of eagles in the world occurs with 1,600 eagles gathering. In late April, 10,000 snow geese stop on their migration northward. There are other wildlife such as sealions, otter, bear and moose.
From kayak to sled
Starting May 9th Borge and Vincent will walk and ski across challenging Stikine ice field. The Distance on the ice will be around 170 km and total duration of the journey will be 4 weeks. They will need to use kayaks to reach the ice and will turn them into sleds for skiing.