The ice house, natural cold storage: Tuktoyaktuk part 4

Tuktoyaktuk has an “ice house,” which is cut deep into the cold rock.

It’s a surprisingly large cave which is used as a community freezer. You can climb down a slippery 30-foot ladder, then walk around with a flashlight. Ice crystals form over the stone walls and low ceiling; this gives an effect of a crystal cave, but also a dungeon or catacomb.

We are told that fewer people use the ice house these days, preferring the convenience of an in-home freezer or simply keeping your meat to freeze in a box on the porch. (Because it’s that cold!)

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10 responses to “The ice house, natural cold storage: Tuktoyaktuk part 4

  1. Now that is interesting. Thank you.

  2. Thanks Mongoose! I agree, this is my favourite post in months. It was really fun.

    • Awesome photos! I’m probably heading up to Tuk this weekend, who should we contact to get a tour of the freezer? Thanks.

  3. You got really great shots of the ice crystals!
    They are absolutely stunning!
    Wondering if you were able to talk to locals and their way of life? Curious how they deal with loss of heat in their homes and what life is like in Tuk.

    • We didn’t talk to anyone while there, but the power bills must be very high in Tuk

      as for using the freezer — it’s obviously much easier to have a fridge in your house, than climb a 30-foot ladder to go get your food!

  4. Dig! Dig!
    Deeper! Deeper!
    This ice cave will save your life
    When the Summer comes
    To finish the job
    That Winter did not do

  5. Our family lived in Aklavik for two years and my mom kept our meat in a wooden box on our porch. We knew spring was on it’s way when the box started leaking.

  6. Pingback: Inuvik Greenhouse « THE NORTHERN HOUSE

  7. Eileen C. Jacobson

    To tour the ice house or town, call 867-977-2406 or 867-678-0718. Arctic Ocean Tuk Tours owned by Eileen C. Jacobson.

  8. Angie & Joe Laughllin

    this is only one of the many reason’s my husband(Sgt.Joe – ret.) and I miss living here. The main reason, of course, are the people…..we think about Tuk quite often.

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