Sunday, July 12, 2009

June's Awesome Alaskan Adventures

June's gone, and July's going strong, shockingly sunny and bug-free here in SC AK.

June's my favorite month generally, the peak of summer in the sense of sunshine and sunlight, and I managed to get out packrafting with Brad M and "worming" with Peg, Louis Sass, and Luc Mehl in the local Chugach. I hiked with Jazz and paddle-rafted a 16 foot Avon with Cody Rome and his girlfriend Carolyn on Eagle River. All good, but as for the high-end adventuring, I did none, really.

Left that to other, younger wild folk.

Like Joe Stock and Matt Hage skiing Chamberlain in the Brooks Range -- seen no photos, heard no details, yet, but the ideas of Joe's and the photos of Matt's are great so I can't wait to see what happens there. Wondering if they had a packraft along.....?

Andrew Skurka linked a Hope to Homer Wilderness Classic route to a sea-rafting trip from Nuka Bay to Seward, then onward up the Seward Highway trails (Lost Lake, Primrose, Johnson Pass) and over Center Creek Pass to Placer River, then down the Arm to Girdwood, completing a wonderful grand circle traverse of the Kenai Peninsula. He's still out there -- headed to Cantwell, SOLO, and on his first trip to Alaska -- the kid's awesome. Follow his passage while he's still out there here.

Thai Verzone and his Ozzie sweety Sharon Roche did a wild trip, too, that mixed helicopter fly-in with a kite-ski/climb trip using packrafts as sleds on the Sargent Icefield and then floated out in a packraft to Prince William Sound where they sea kayaked back to civilization. Thai’s trips are creative and intense, but this one seemed mostly creative and fun.

Finally the trip nearest and dearest to my heart: a repeat of the original Hellbiker's route, Nabesna to McCarthy by Epic Eric Parsons and Dylan Kentch, who took their fat tired beach bikes and made them true mtn bikes. This is the route that Carl Tobin, Jon Underwood, and I did in August 1988 with a single Sherpa packraft to cross the Nabesna and Nizina Rivers. Eric and Dylan each pedaled fat tired snow/beach bikes and carried their own Alpackas, so I know they rode less than we did:) Eric's blog found no riding (and little trail) on the Goat Trail, and they each rafted Jack Creek, Nabesna River, Chististone River, and Nizina Rivers, missing some of the good riding as they floated. Anyway check out Epic Eric's story and photos. Can't wait to see what those wacky kids do next.

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