Arctic Weather Station, CFS Alert. "Inuit Nunangata Ungata", "The Land Beyond the Land of the People".

Alert map cropped

Map of Northern Canada with CFS Alert Highlighted

CFS Alert in the High Arctic is the most Northerly permanently inhabited settlement in the world. Situated in the Nunavut Territory at the top of Ellesmere Island, it's geographic location is just over 800km from the North Pole.

Sled Dogs at Alert Nunavut

Sled Dogs at Alert, Nunavut

From April 8th. to September 5th. there is no night and from October 10th. to March 1st., no direct sunlight. Between those period's there are varying durations of day and night.

During the winter normal temperatures can be in the range of -40'C, bbbrrrrrrr!!! Water, Skin and other items freeze in seconds at this temperature!

Alert distance sign

Famous Alert welcome sign with various distance markers

Alert was first settled in the early 1950's and was operated by the RCAF under the Joint Arctic Weather Station system.

During the Cold War Alert was a strategic radio station located close enough to many Russian military stations to pick up transmissions between Russian Bases, Submarines & Ships etc.

At the peak of its operation over 200 individuals would be stationed there at any given time.

In 1986 the Alert Background Air Pollution Monitoring Network or BAPMoN Observatory was opened. This station carries out atmospheric studies in the Northern region. (For further information click on the link above.)

BAPMoN station

Alert Background Air Pollution Monitoring Station

Over the years there have been two plane crashes at CFS Alert...

One in 1950 as the station was being established when an RCAF Lancaster (see photo link below) that had been dropping supplies, accidentally entangled a parachute in the tail section of the Aircraft. All 9 crew members were killed in the crash and are buried just to the West of the airstrip.

Lancaster aircraft

In more recent times a CC-130 Hercules (see photo link below) on October 30, 1991 enroute from Edmonton, Alberta to Alert via Thule, Greenland was on final approach to the Alert airstrip when it crashed two miles short of the runway. 5 of the 18 passengers and crew were killed in the crash, rescue efforts were greatly hampered by a blizzard and the rough terrain. Here is a great site to learn more about the CC130 130322 crash. This occurrence was later portrayed in a film called "Ordeal in the Arctic".

CC 130 Hercules

Today alert is still a busy place, however with newer more efficient technology and an ever varying role the station has a much smaller staff than during the cold war days.

There have been ongoing equipment upgrades and the station today is still a very important asset to the security and sovereignty of the nation of Canada.

Many improvements have been made over the years with regard to the eco friendliness of the station and also it's cost effectiveness.

For an excellent site on CFS Alert click this link

alert ariel view alert landscape

Home of "The Frozen Chosen"

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Plane Crashes
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I just discovered these old photos of the runway and approach lights going into CFS Alert. I think these photos were taken in 1975 just after my crew and …

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