Sunday, March 23, 2014

"Arrigetch Creeking" -- 25 years of Packrafting in the Brooks Range

On Thursday night I'm going to present on 25 years of packrafting in the Brooks Range, starting with Peggy's and my Gates of the Arctic leg of a 1000 mile traverse from Kaktovik to Kotzebue in 1986 and finishing with the "Freezing Man Packraft Festival" in the Alatna-Arrigetch in 2012.

It's with the Knik Canoers and Kayakers: 7 PM Thursday March 27 at the Loussac Library here in Anchorage.


  1. Anchorage folks have all luck :)

  2. Yes. I think the same. Alaska is so far..

  3. A bit off topic Roman but I appreciate your opinion.

    I'm a hunter/fisherman in NZ who currently paddles a Sevylor Rio on class II-III water, 3 day to 1 week duration trips. I'm 5'8", and 73kg and have a small vizsla (15kg). My all up weight including pack, dog and game would be 135kg. I would like to replace my Rio with a craft that I can carry in/out for some trips - carry in typically 4hrs.

    I had considered the Feathercraft Bolder self bailer - but at 5.68kg weight becomes a factor. Would the Alpacka Llama or Unrigged explorer be better - I see they don't self bail - is that an issue without the spray deck?

    What would you recommend?

    Thanks Dave.

    1. Closest experience would be Peggy (45 kg) all our gear (40 kg) and me (75 kg) = 160 kg in a boat sort of intermediate between a Double Duck or unrigged explorer, no spray deck, no self bailing, but lots of backpaddling and maneuvering to keep from talking water on.

      She walked the Class III and I took the gear through. We take on a bit of water in Class II+ in America. I feel the grades are a bit stouter in NZ and so you might take on a bit more. I do a lot of back paddling with an open boat.

      What happens is, when taking on water, as you know, the boat gets heavier and harder to maneuver. I think an un-rigged explorer would be good.

      But the new school would be to get a zipper in a whitewater decked Llama so you can put the gear in the the tubes, the meat at your feet and the dog, with good balance can ride on the bow and jump to shore when you run the Class III.

      If you have been paddling a IK, then you might like the Feathercraft's handling, but the post 2011 Llamas are really nimble, have lots of flotation, and with a whitewater deck and zipper are incredible with weight to Class III+.

      Unlike your vizsla, I can't risk putting my wife on the bow so must keep to the open boat.

      That would be my approach, because a loaded boat will take on water without a spray deck, the whitewater deck is really good, and the Lama handles better than the Feathercraft or unrigged explorer given its shape.


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