Ice Thickness Update #2!

For many winters, on the last day of every month, Bethelite Kevin Murphy has drilled a hole through the frozen surface of the Kuskokwim River with a hand-powered auger and measured the thickness of the ice, which he then reports to the National Weather Service. Yesterday Mr. Murphy was kind enough to let us tag along as he took what will most likely be his final measurement of the 2014-15 winter. If you’ve been following us here at, you may recall that last month, on Februrary 28th, Murphy reported a measurement of 35 1/2″.  Yesterday’s measurement of the river ice in front of the Bethel City Dock was precisely 34″, meaning the ice has shed 1 1/2″ in the last month. Murhpy indicated that 34″ is on the low end of the normal range for this time of year. What does that mean for break-up and the Ice Classic? That, friends, is up to you! Be sure to buy your tickets and get your guesses in soon… The deadline of April 20th at 7pm is fast approaching! Check out some photos of Kevin Murphy and his young assistant on the river yesterday evening.

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Ice Thickness Update Tomorrow — Guess the Measurement and WIN an Amazon Gift Card!

This evening we’ll join local ice-thickness expert Kevin Murphy on the river for what will more than likely be his last measurement of the season. We’ll  post an official report with photos tomorrow morning, but in the meantime, how thick do you think the ice is?  Post your guess in the comment section of this post on Facebook before midnight tonight (3/31 ) AKST. The closest guess, to the nearest half inch without going over, wins a $25 Amazon gift card!

Tripod Raising Slideshow!

Wednesday was an exciting day for the Kuskokwim Ice Classic as the 2015 tripod — a remarkable collaboration between students, builders and volunteers — came together on the river ice and was raised to reach for the sky. The beautiful tripod was designed by Tamyka Ayuluk and Colton Ulroan, LKSD students enrolled in the STEM program, with the support of their instructor, Kevin McCalla. Their innovative idea was brought to life by Bethel craftsman Eric Whitney. In the end, it took many hands to move and raise the tripod. BCSF and The Kuskokwim Ice Classic thanks the AVCP Welding Crew from Yuut Elitnaurviat, Dennis Dishion, Zach Fansler and Gary Baldwin for their tremendous help at the Yuut Elitnaurviat shop and on the river this week. Please enjoy the slideshow below to see the tripod going up! (Photos by John Wallace, Michelle Dewitt and Paul Basile)

The 2015 Ice Classic Tripod

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This year the tripod is not just a tripod- it is art, designed by Tamyka Ayuluk and Colton Ulroan,  Lower Kuskokwim School District STEM (Science/Tech/Engineering/Math) students, with the support of their instructor, Kevin McCalla. The students’ design was brought to life by Eric Whitney/Whitney Construction.  We hope you’ll make your way to the riverfront today to see Bethel’s newest large scale art display. And don’t forget to buy your Ice Classic Tickets before April 20th!

The New Tripod Goes up Today!

Today’s the day! We will be erecting the amazing 2015 Ice Classic tripod on the river this evening. The structure was designed by a pair of students involved with the STEM program at LKSD and we think you’ll agree that it’s an exciting change from tripods of years past. We’ll begin work on the river at about 5pm so please swing by the riverfront to see this beauty go up! AND… tickets will be on sale at the Ice Classic shack on Front Street!