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Old 03-23-2009, 09:04 PM
 
6 posts, read 15,687 times
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OK, the truth...has anyone ever worked up at that Arctic for a season (particularly thinking about January through May, or Oct-Jan???)...if I go, it will be for that "adventure" factor...wondering what activities are there up there at that time? Outdoor activities? I'm into photography and would love to capture some nice video as well, but will my equipment freeze up and die? I'm okay with the freezing factor for me, I'll just wear the proper gear, but...just want to experience all that life has to offer, like freezing in the Arctic, hahaha!

Seriously though, I am about to submit my application for next winter and I just want truth, keeping in mind that I am up for the experience. Am I going to mess up my health by doing this? I've heard stories of internal frostbite, I have no idea what external frostbite looks like, so that would not be so great...but...with precaution, can this be done and enjoyed at the same time? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:08 PM
 
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Most of us have spent some time up on the slope, but Rance and Grill God are currently in rotation (2 on, 2 off), and have current info. Best thing to do is purchase your arctic gear here in Anchorage and take it up with you when you go. No question. Army/Navy store on 4th Ave is probably the best bet. Food in man camps is outstanding and there is plenty of it. Normal rotation is 2 and 2 or 3 and 1. 2 weeks on/2 weeks off, of 3 and 1.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
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Who are you submitting your application to???
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Maple Lake, MN
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My man-guy is doing 3 on, 3 off....it has been cold and you need extra insulation if out somewhere, but if inside you will probably be okay...Activities, you are probably on your own...Like has been said, food is good...you need to specify what job you would be doing.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:46 PM
 
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I've had my camera gear out at -45, it works fine, though you don't want to leave it out continuously at those temps. The main thing is watching/preventing condensation when you bring the gear back inside. Batteries go much faster at those temps as well. As far as Arctic Clothing, you will be well outfitted by your company before heading up there. All of the infrastructure up there is well suited to surving in those harsh conditions and safety procedures are quite extensive, and strictly enforced.

It is definitely a unique experience, and the scenery for photography is sometimes so surreal it is other-worldy. During the non-frozen months, wildlife is abundant for photography. Just remember though, you'll be up there to work not take a photo vacation, and busting your hump on 12 hr shifts doesn't give you a whole lot of alone time anyway. Also, depending on your job, you will probably be at the mercy of a shuttle bus for primary transportation between the camp and the jobsites, so opportunities to go off exploring are limited.

I'm pretty lucky in that I get to set my own schedule when I go up there, and get the use of a Suburban or Pickup. And since my territory can be anywhere between Valdez and Prudhoe, I don't find myself getting bored with the scenery! Again, depending on your job, you may never get far from your jobsite and whatever camp you're living at. Some guys spend an entire 30 year carreer only seeing a few square miles of the slope, along with the view from an airplane window flying into and out of Deadhorse. Still, the experience is worth it, and the money ain't half bad either!
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,862 posts, read 11,777,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyblueoceanair View Post
OK, the truth...has anyone ever worked up at that Arctic for a season (particularly thinking about January through May, or Oct-Jan???)...if I go, it will be for that "adventure" factor...wondering what activities are there up there at that time? Outdoor activities? I'm into photography and would love to capture some nice video as well, but will my equipment freeze up and die? I'm okay with the freezing factor for me, I'll just wear the proper gear, but...just want to experience all that life has to offer, like freezing in the Arctic, hahaha!

Seriously though, I am about to submit my application for next winter and I just want truth, keeping in mind that I am up for the experience. Am I going to mess up my health by doing this? I've heard stories of internal frostbite, I have no idea what external frostbite looks like, so that would not be so great...but...with precaution, can this be done and enjoyed at the same time? Thanks in advance.
Batteries and extreme cold are not very good companions. A battery that lasts 2 hours in my camcorder at 72F only lasted 20 minutes on the slope at -30F. But that was the only problem I encountered with my camcorder. As long as I had power, it would continue to function.

As far as activities are concerned, there are usually a couple snow machines at each of the Pump Stations. There is also good Arctic Grayling and Dolly Varden fishing in the summer near many of the Pump Stations. As Moose Whisperer says, you are working 12 hour shifts every day, which does not leave much time for anything else. You should definately bring a camera, because it doesn't matter where you will be working, there will be awe-inspiring scenery.

If you get a job through Alyeska Service Company, British Petroleum, or CONOCO/Phillips, they will provide you with arctic gear and training before they send you to the slope. Frostbite is always a possibility, but if you know the symptoms and detect it early enough, you can usually keep it from becoming severe. Once you get frostbite, that area of the body is more prone to being frostbitten in the future. So paying attention to your condition is important when working outside in extreme cold.

These oil companies are also very strict about wildlife interactions. If you get caught feeding the wildlife they will fire you on the spot. They have problems with wildlife getting into camps and other remote work sites, and they do not want to make the problem worse by associating humans with food. A very sensible precaution I think.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glitch View Post
As far as activities are concerned, there are usually a couple snow machines at each of the Pump Stations. There is also good Arctic Grayling and Dolly Varden fishing in the summer near many of the Pump Stations.
Yes, allot will depend on which company you get hired with, and what location they send you to (up on the slope or one of the Pump Stations on the pipeline). If you work for Alyeska, or contract with them, all it takes is your Supervisor's persmission to get the keys to a truck and go outside the fence. If you know the right people, you can even catch a ride on a Tucker (sno cat) or even with Security on a Pipeline Helicopter survey run - highly recommened!

However, I don't know what the policies are with the other producer companies or some of the other contractors like CH2MHill or ASRC.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:44 PM
 
6 posts, read 15,687 times
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Thanks you guys. What's the story with the facility at Deadhorse Camp?
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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Which facility? There are more than a few. Each major company has it's own mancamp and there are 2 mancamp hotels.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyblueoceanair View Post
Thanks you guys. What's the story with the facility at Deadhorse Camp?
You will have to be more specific. There are a lot of businesses in Deadhorse. While I wouldn't call Deadhorse a "city" by any stretch of the imagination, or even a "village", it is much more than just a "camp."


Deadhorse
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