host picture

  | Bookmark and Share

Mackenzie ice breaks

It happens once a year, and it's over in a matter of hours: Tons of ice suddenly break and start moving with the current of the Mackenzie river.

It happens once a year, and it's over in a matter of hours: Tons of ice suddenly break and start moving with the current of the Mackenzie river.

For residents of Inuvik, ice break marks a new season. A clear river allows boats for fishing and transportation, and also allows ferries to cross rivers that intersect the Dempster Highway, bringing food prices down and allowing travel south to Tsiigehtchic, Fort McPherson, Dawson City and Whitehorse.

When the day comes, people who live beside Canada's longest river watch the ice move as one might watch a parade. There are barbecues, picnics and people with bicycles or baby strollers.

On May 20 in Inuvik, the ice started moving in the mid-afternoon. By 7pm a small crowd of people had gathered at Inuvik's boat launch, enjoying the scenery in the almost 24-hour sunlight.

  •