Kinipaghulghat Mountains, Saint Lawrence Island

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Kinipaghulghat Mountains, Saint Lawrence Island

by | May 22, 2019

The Kinipaghulghat mountains reach an elevation of 1,820 feet (555 m) and are about 8 miles (13 km) southwest of Northeast Cape, Saint Lawrence Island, Alaska. The Yup’ik name was first reported in 1932 by O.W. Geist of the University of Alaska.

Saint Lawrence Island is in the Bering Sea about 130 miles (210 km) southwest of the Seward Peninsula in Alaska and 40 miles (65 km) southeast of the Chukotsky Peninsula in Siberia, Russia. The island is roughly 2,000 square miles (517,997 ha) in area. About two-thirds of the island is a tundra covered wave-cut platform which has been elevated locally as much as 200 feet (61 m) above sea level. The remainder consists of isolated groups of barren talus and rubble covered mountains most of which have cores of granitic rock that rise sharply 1,000 to 2,000 feet (305-610 m) above the wave-cut platform. The Kinipaghulghat pluton is a granitic intrusion about 65 square miles (16,835 ha) in area and makes up the resistant upland on the east end of Saint Lawrence Island.

Northeast Cape Air Force Station is a closed General Surveillance Radar facility from the Cold War located on Kinipaghulghat Mountain. The continental defense radar station was constructed in 1953 to provide early warning of an attack by the Soviet Union. The station, as with others of its type, was divided into two areas. The upper site at the top of Kinipaghulghat Mountain housed the radar towers, backup generators, communications sites, and crew quarters. The lower operations area at the base of the mountain consisted of 25 buildings and miscellaneous support structures located near the coast and a beach landing, along with a gravel airstrip for shipment of personnel and essential supplies. Northeast Cape Air Force Station was very expensive to maintain and was deactivated on 30 September 1969. After the station’s closure, the buildings, radars, and communications antennas sat derelict and abandoned. In 1998, “Operation Clean Sweep” demolished the facility and remediated the land to its previous state. Read more here and here. Explore more of Kinipaghulghat Mountain here:

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