9.09.2009

AK Range Traverse and East Fork Susitna

We headed down to the Denali Highway and into the Alaska Range this weekend for a packraft trip. We started out driving up Valdez Creek Trail and left the car. We hiked over numerous passes with many rivers, caribou, blueberries and alpine lakes to swim. It was a 30 mile hike, 30 mile paddle and 10 mile run back to the car. Ed, Heather, Ben, Dea and Patrick hiked this awesome Alaska tundra and did a first decent in packrafts on the East Fork of the Susitna river. It was a great trip! This picture is the first of a million stream crossings on our hike.

The the first pass and the rest of the trip we had incredible weather and aweome views of the Alaska Range. Heather, Patrick, Ben, Ed and me falling over as I ran from the self timer.

Saddle of the first pass.

Ben and Heather hiking along side Mt. Deborah and caribou.

Just two of many curious caribou on the hike (Ed Plumb photo).

Some small scree fields over the passes, but for the most part great tundra hiking.

Ed filtering water at an alpine lake before we all took a dive in.

Finally day2 decending down to the East Fork Glacier River.

About to start our descent down the river in the packrafts.

A few sprinkles during the paddle and one big thunderstorm with hail 1/4 mile from our take out bridge.

2nd portage around some large rapids, part of the excitement of an unknown river in a remote area.
Another unknown was downstream from the headwaters of the glacier, the river fanned out into many shallow channels over a mile wide. This is Heather pushing off with her paddle to break loose(Ed Plumb photo), but mostly we had to walk in the middle of this shallow glacier river until we could jump in again. I don't think it is technically a portage or line when you're walking with your boat down the middle of a river. We will call it as ed says, a good experience :-) We all had a great time!

4 comments:

Jonzie said...

Wow, that looks fantastic. Great pics.

brown said...

awesome pix, Dea! but Mt. Deborah didn't look that high in your picture - Ed's looks to be almost as tall, but then he's larger than life!!! :)

Michelle said...

Dea this is so beautiful, you are looking gorgeous and well, so lovely to see, thank you for sharing, take care everyone, thank you for giving us such joy in tuff times,Ed fans - Michelle and Alicia in Australia xxxx

mel said...

love the rainbow photo!!! sure beats the red ridge camping days!