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...)


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