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The Kuskokwim Tripod Is Up, And The Countdown To Summer Has Begun

Mar 22, 2018

Eric Whitney stands next to the tripod he constructed for the Kuskokwim Ice Classic. The tripod was erected on the river ice in front of the Bethel seawall on March 21, 2018.
Credit Michelle DeWitt / Bethel Community Services Foundation

One of the signs that winter is nearing its end can now be seen on the river. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Kuskokwim Ice Classic tripod was erected in front of Bethel. Whoever guesses the closest time to when the ice breaks and carries the tripod away will win $12,500, the same amount as last year.

A local STEM student designed the tripod and Bethel resident Eric Whitney built it. The 26-foot high yellow and black arm is cut like a story-knife, and the red and blue legs are painted to look like Lund aluminum skiffs driving through running water.

"It reminds me of summer," Whitney said. When the ice breaks, that means boating is just around the corner.

Whitney wants to put the word out now that if you see the tripod downriver after breakup, let him know. They would like to salvage it to use again next year.

Ice Classic tickets are on sale at AC, Swanson’s, the Y-K Fitness Center, and Bethel Community Services Foundation. Proceeds benefit Teens Acting Against Violence, Delta Illusion Dance Company, Kuskokwim Learning Academy Student Government, and Y-K Delta Lifesavers.