Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Packraft Glacier Creek - Girdwood, AK

Instead of after work skiing, the summer brings us after work packrafting. I headed down to Girdwood with the Anchorage Adventurers Meetup Group to packraft Glacier Creek with 4 other boaters.

You gain access by following Crow Creek Road to the Hand Tram trailhead. It is a 20 minute walk to the tram, and then descending a rope to the river.

Doug giving the safety brief.

Scouting the first and most difficult rapid. The flow was about medium, and the water classified as Class 2+. This rapid is right after the put-in.

After getting our boats, we "eddy out" to gain a look-see at the first rapid. Me and Doug.

Practicing my paddling techniques in the eddy.
Now here comes the good part. By this time we have 3 packrafters in this eddy, and its getting crowded. Mike, shown below, kind of misses the eddy. This is what happens, step by step.
Mike comes into the eddy a bit far, and not very aggressively.

Mike misses the eddy, and is paddling like he's got all afternoon.
The look on Mike's face goes from calm to absolute panic in 0.1 seconds.
Mike flips his boat on the backside of that rock, which stands a huge wave.

"Dude, where's my boat? Why is it all the way over there. At least I've got my paddle."

Mike swims the first major rapid.

Mike would eventually jump in the river and swim to where we finally got his boat out of the water. Doug would take a dip too when he got pinned up against a rock.
Me negotiating the first rapid.

Downstream of rapid #1. Where's Mike?

Greg hits a rapid with style.
Overlooking Glacier Creek, aptly named, as you can see either Yudi Glacier or 5 Glacier (I can't tell...)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pacraft Eagle River

After a fairly mellow summer, Sam and I decided to turn up the intensity a little bit with a Pacraft of the Eagle River. Both Sam and I are brand new to pacrafting, but no one could say we weren't ready for anything that the mighty Eagle River threw at us!

Getting ready to step off at the Crow Pass trailhead in Girdwood.
Headed up towards the pass. A lot of people had the same idea as us. We saw 10 novice packrafters, and passed nearly 20 hikers. The token Crow Pass photograph.
Raven Glacier.

Descending the trail to the Raven Gorge Bridge.

Meadow skipping through the Fireweed. As the story goes, once the Fireweed reaches full bloom, we'll have termination dust within 2 weeks.

Huge ass Bull Moose that i walked by. Sam heard him grunt.
This is the next step of our adventure. In the back is Eagle Glacier, headwaters of the river that we are about to raft.
Getting geared up.
Ready to rip - Matt.
Readty to rip - Sam C.
Sam doing his whitewater paddle.
Me getting done knitting my shickers after avoiding a sweeper.
We had to portage a little bit to avoid sweepers and some gravel bars.....oh yeah and dump all the water out of our boats.
Post rafting activities at PM for a PMS (that's Pizza Man for a Pizza Man Special). And some Schooners, also known as Alaska Shot Glasses - the 32 oz type!!
Meg shows her support.