In 2018 I was in the Brooks in July-August. This year we need to go earlier. How early can we go? Early to mid-June seems to be a consensus for a great time to start. Dial’s Arctic 1000 was 6/11-7/6, Skurka’s trips are 6/15-7/1, and some other (attempted/actual) traverses started mid-June. Plenty of aufeis then. Is aufeis the main concern with starting too early? Or excessive snowmelt? Temps don’t look bad even well back into May.
We are planning on using the Dalton Highway Express to get to near Atigun Pass, then doing a ten-day loop in ANWR. So lower elevations than we could have (e.g. upper Sheenjek area), but still maybe a risk of icy/snowy passes at that time of year? (There were a few icy passes in the upper Koyukuk area in July 2018, so I'd expect some anyway, but those were quite manageable.)
As for dates, we're thinking starting the trek as early as May 30th (to June 9), or perhaps starting on June 6 (to June 16).
Anyone reading this who has experience in the Brooks early season?
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