Wall against the fog

Wall against the fog

If you live and fly within Alaska, you will frequently hear about the fog in the arctic summer, how often VFR aircraft cannot land in Anaktuvik Pass. On my last photo flight for my trip up to Gates of the Arctic, I saw firsthand why. All the way flying up the John River basin, it was sunny and beautiful. As we got closer, we saw fog fronts rolling in from Anaktuvik Pass and the Chandler Lake area. Then we got above the clouds, up to around 9,500 feet, and saw a thick, dense carpet of fog reaching all the way north and into the Arctic Ocean. It was then that I realized and appreciate a vital role that the Brooks Range plays in the weather, keeping the Arctic Ocean fog at bay. This vast and menacing presence simply came to a halt at the frontal wall of the mountain range. It reminded me a bit of summers in Grand Marais, in northern Minnesota, where the cold air from Lake Superior blends with the warm, moist air of summer to create a thick fog that comes to rest at the edge of the Sawtooth Mountains.

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