We have nailed down the details of the rentals that we will be able to provide for the Trek. Emails have gone out to those who have inquired about them already. Drop me a note of you want the details too.
I doubt that there are many that this will apply to... But if you are seriously considering attending the Alaska Cruiser Trek 2011 and have not been in touch with me in the last couple of weeks, drop me a note here or email at Markcruisersonly@gmail.com right away.
So how high are the rivers running? All of our rivers are at flood stages right now and very high. The snow pack is still at 180% of normal and hasn't started to really melt yet. Is it warmer up there? Did you guys get a lot of snow this winter? Just curious.
River levels are always high during late breakup. Particulalrly the ones that are fed by snowpack and glacial runoff too.
Not sure what the snow was like out in the Alaska range, but here in the cook inlet area it was average to maybe a bit low. In the Talkeetnas it was similar.
It has been a warmish breakup/spring so far.
The Slana and the Tom are very influenced by rainfall and can come up quick because of that. The Gokona is more glacial fed and high heat will raise it as easily as rainfall.
The rivers on the east side of the Talkeetnas are primarily snowpack and rain fed.
So far everything looks normal, but the week or two prior to when you want to be out there is the only thing that can tell you much.
The ACT 2011 is still on BTW, just without the sizable crew arriving from outside (Alaska). A smaller crew means we get the push the bounds of exploration - who knows what this trip will bring.
Chad, did Mark mention we're accumulating ground anchors for an above the tree line steep mountain winch fest? If we fail at that, it could mean a swampy bog winch fest around from the south. Either way, make sure your Warn is in good working order.
Mark let me know if you guys need anything. I am afraid that I am not super helpful since I semi-fxxxered a knee but I will be around and working the day shift. Do you guys have anything planed local that maybe I could tag along on?
Our plans for the NotaTrek are pretty casual right now. We are gonna attemtp to connect over the high ground between the Gokona and Chistochina Rivers up at the glaciers. Failing that (likely) we will look at getting up the Gokona Glacier to the icefield.
Other than some extra time to work on rigs and fabrication projects, nothing we are in need of really.
We hope to make a couple of runs after the NotaTrek before hunting season. Probably out in the Eureka area for a 3-4 day weekend and maybe a weekend outing somewhere close in... nothing solid yet.
Pat, contact me on FB (the link is below my avatar) and I'll get you hooked up with the Alaska Cruiser Crew group.
A couple more... keeping the best stuff close for now... But here are a couple that are kinda neat... We always downplay rock crawling here in Alaska. Not because you can't find it, but just because we prefer to spend our time getting somewhere rather than challenging the rigs just to do it.
These pics were taken in the moraine of the Gakona Glacier. It is an area of several square miles. The rocks boulders sand and mud actually overlays the ice in a thin layer (only inches deep in some spots, and the ice is actually exposed in others). The boulder piles are as tall as 10 and 20 story buildings in some spots, and are surrounded by ravines and trenches where the larger boulders are all that have not been eroded downslope.
The first shot here was taken at the edge of the oldest morraine that is now grown up with dense trackless brush, as we started in from the gravel plains of the river headed toward the ice.
The second picture is at the edge of the boulder piles where we decided to leave the rigs instead of beating them in the jagged rock for no real reason.
The last pic shows some of the smaller boulders that make up the bulk of the rocks in this particular spot. This was near the bottom of a 200 foot tall pile... about half an hour after we climbed back down from the top, a few dozen tons of rock crashed down across our route. I guess it is not a place to lightly take your Cruiser.
Further from the face of the glacier where the terrain has had a few centuries to let life find a foot hold, the boulder fields are covered with grasses, mosses and brush. Various animal life of course has followed. Everything from mice and voles to bear and moose.
Naw.... the good ones are under wraps for a while.
I have to admit I really enjoyed watching the performance of the other rigs in the rivers and bogs. Reinforced my satisfaction with the basic direction I have taken with my '40. Just have to deal with those nagging details now.
Other than Darrell's last minute abort of that one crossing, most of the water we dealt with was pretty mild stuff. But with the rigs we had along this time that was best. We got lucky and found easy ways through/around all the bogs too... I was surprised that we got that lucky. Kevin and I forget how tough that stuff can be for the heavier rigs on smaller tires. It was interesting to be able to take the time to compare the differences.
Already mulling thoughts of a return to McLaren Glacier and the high country above it as soon as I can get out there. Spend a couple of days camping and hiking... take a raft to get onto the Glacier itself. Might pass on the night of drinking with the Paxson Roadhouse Felons though.