the Degree Confluence Project

United States : Alaska

21.0 miles (33.8 km) SE of Clam Gulch, Kenai Peninsula, AK, USA
Approx. altitude: 656 m (2152 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap topo ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 60°S 29°E

Accuracy: 9 m (29 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Looking North #3: Looking East, Kenai Mountains in the background #4: Looking South #5: The gang on the point #6: Seismic line about 10 miles from the point looking west

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  60°N 151°W  

#1: The point in the foreground, looking westerly

(visited by Curt Christiansen, Richard Krapp, Ryan Kapp, Kevin Johnson, Tim Howard, David Hernandez and Jim Hakkinen)

13-Mar-2004 -- While visiting friends in Soldotna, I decided to try for this point. Ryan arranged for us to borrow a couple of snowmachines and roped some relatives and their friends into guiding us to the point. It didn’t take much convincing as it is in the area where they like to ride and also Dick and Kevin each own cabins in the area. We parked the trucks about 25 miles south of Soldotna at a friend’s house along the Sterling Highway. The area from the highway east to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR) is covered with spruce and birch trees and many lakes, ponds, and marshes. It is crisscrossed with trails that were cut thru the woods for seismic oil exploration (picture 6). The cuts run straight, often times for miles. Some of these trails are maintained and groomed by the local snowmachine club. We traveled ESE on one of these trails from the parking area for about 10 miles and then jumped from one to another in a generally SE direction until we broke out of the trees into the “high country” as the locals call it. The point is located in the Caribou Hills within KNWR. Snowmobiling is allowed in the Refuge when there is sufficient snow to protect the plants. The Caribou Hills stick up above tree line, so eventually we broke out into the open. From there on it is just ride wherever you like that’s not too steep and has snow cover. The highest point in the hills is Ptarmigan Head, at about 2850’ elevation. Kevin had told Ryan he could ride right to the point so we just followed him. He was only off by about three-quarters of a mile to the North and slightly West. I pointed out the general direction and we took off to go around a large gully area. By the time I took a couple of photos the rest of the gang had gone about 3 miles to far to the southwest. Catching up to them, I pointed the way and we rode straight to the spot. The confluence (in foreground of picture 1 looking west) is on the eastern flank of the hills at about 2200’ elevation. As you can see the vegetation is sparse and what trees exist are scrub spruce. The snow depth varied from about a foot to more than 5 feet depending on drifting. Picture 2 is looking North. Looking East (picture 3) you can just barely see the southeast corner of Tustemena Lake. The Kenai Mountains rise in the background to between 4000’ and 5000’ and are capped by the Harding Icefield. Picture 4 is looking south. Picture 5 is the group shot on the confluence point. As usual I forgot to take a photo of the zeros on the GPS. When we reached the point three of the guys whipped out their GPS units and all were within a few feet of where we parked. After a few minutes for photos we moved northwest a little ways and dropped down into a gully to get out of the wind for a lunch break. On the way back we rode around in the open country for a bit and then took different trails down to Kevin’s cabin and then over to Dick’s. A half hour riding on trails from there took us back to the trucks. We were loaded up and heading home by 4pm. Getting to this point was much easier than I expected. I hadn’t anticipated the groomed trails and open high country. Without the trails you can spend a lot of energy trying to climb out of dips and hollows in the forest where the snow collects quite deep.

 All pictures
#1: The point in the foreground, looking westerly
#2: Looking North
#3: Looking East, Kenai Mountains in the background
#4: Looking South
#5: The gang on the point
#6: Seismic line about 10 miles from the point looking west
ALL: All pictures on one page
In the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.