The river is so rough in the Upper Kuskokwim area that it is impassable to vehicle and snowmachine traffic. Big boulders of snow-covered ice are scattered across the river from Chuathbaluk and up. But Mark Leary, who works for the village of Napaimute, hopes to clear the river so that people can travel this week.
Leary says that workers from Napaimute bulldozed the trail on the ice road between Chuathbaluk and Napaimute to smooth it over before they plow it this week. High water during freeze up, which was late this year, meant that the ice road was nearly impassable for travelers coming from the Upper Kuskokwim River area to the middle.
Donlin Gold contributed $20,000 to help this latest effort. In a statement, Donlin Gold spokesperson Kristina Woolston said, “supporting the extension of the Kuskokwim Ice Road can help connect more people together to critical services often restricted by air travel."