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Thread: Airstrip at Confluence of Ivishak & Echooka Rivers?

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    Default Airstrip at Confluence of Ivishak & Echooka Rivers?

    Hello Alaska Hunters,
    According to the maps there is an airstrip located at the confluence of the Ivishak & Echooka Rivers. I was just wondering about the condition of the airstrip, if it is still usable or washed out. We plan on having a 16 foot john-boat with an outboard jet, and my airplane up there in August.

    Does this airstrip see a lot of use? It is located just beyond the 5 mile cooridor, so it might get a lot of DYI drop off hunters. Hope to buy some av gas at the Kavik River Camp too.


    Thanks,

    James

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    I can't speak to the amount of use that the airstrip receives, but I did hunt this area last September. I would caution that you be careful with the jon boat. We ran an airboat up the echooka, and along the way we came across two separate parties that were stranded and trying to figure out how to get their jon boats back to the highway. One party had the transom tore off of their jon boat, and the other had a gaping hole in the hull. To say the least, those braided rivers can be very hard on jon boats. However, best of luck, and the hunting treated us very well.

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugle.elk View Post
    One party had the transom tore off of their jon boat, and the other had a gaping hole in the hull. To say the least, those braided rivers can be very hard on jon boats.
    One solution is to take plenty of plywood, a saw, and a rivet gun to cover each hole with a temporary patch. The mouth of the Eccho can have some major hull inspectors just an inch below the surface.

    The airstrip that I have seen is on the opposite side of the Ivashak from the Eccho. It is a favorite spot for drop off camps and at any given time there are a dozen or more tents. Up stream toward the base of the Brooks Range is another airstrip, but the Outfitter might not like it if you land in his camp. Supercubs land on the ridge lines all the time though...big issue can be heavy fog in the morning, but it tends to burn off late in the day. Good luck.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    One solution is to take plenty of plywood, a saw, and a rivet gun to cover each hole with a temporary patch. The mouth of the Eccho can have some major hull inspectors just an inch below the surface.

    The airstrip that I have seen is on the opposite side of the Ivashak from the Eccho. It is a favorite spot for drop off camps and at any given time there are a dozen or more tents. Up stream toward the base of the Brooks Range is another airstrip, but the Outfitter might not like it if you land in his camp. Supercubs land on the ridge lines all the time though...big issue can be heavy fog in the morning, but it tends to burn off late in the day. Good luck.
    Thanks for the replies. The jet-boat is a contingency plan if the weather really is too bad to fly. I had hoped to get away from the crowds with the airplane, maybe as far as the Canning River. My friend with the 16 foot john-boat is from Alaska and says he is use to “running skinny rivers”. I hope he’s right

    Looks like the weather will decide our hunting plans to a certain extent. I’ve been embezzling from myself for the last two years to pay for this trip and hunt. Av-gas and Alaska airplane insurance is real expensive this summer!

    James
    Spokane
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    Man I love those double doors on the Maule. I miss my M-4. It was a great 2 man plane. I've been up there, but did not go look at the strip. Rocks on gravel bars up there tend to be big. I'm not sure I ever saw a spot to try and land a plane next to the river.
    I did not take any aluminum repair items on that trip, in part due to having a 1/4" bottom on an otherwise light weight flat bottom boat. I would next time though. JB weld or similar epoxy, especially the kind you can plug a hole if wet, along w/ some aluminum pieces and rivets is a good idea.
    Good luck. Hope your dream trip works out for you,
    ARR

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Since you have your own plane, why would you hunt so close to the haul road? Not trying to be smart, but it seems like you'd want to get way away from people since you can. I know I would.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    During one trip up the Shak, I hiked over to that strip. It didn't look suitable to land any plane now a days. It was all grown over with brush. Never have seen anyone camp near it either. I've always camped right across the river from it too. Nice area. Any river you run can damage a boat. The Shak is no differnet. Maybe a little bit skinnier than most, but be smart and take your time. I think it's the most fun river around.

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    I know over the years I have seen a number of planes fly in and out of Happy Valley. You should be able to re fuel there as well. You might consider talking with the Happy Valley Fish and Game guys on where they would recommend landing areas. Like I previously said, I have seen planes land on many different ridges...I think the only requirement for a non emergency is that you have to be outside of the 5 mile corridor. I have also seen 4 or 5 planes land on the haul road, park for a bit, and wait out the fog. Depending on your skills as a pilot, you have a ton of options in a tail dragger that may be safer than the boat option you gave. Then again, maybe you are a good fab man and mechanic ;-) Good luck.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Man people love to trash and beat the hell out of their gear to get game! Two jon boats that tore up must have been a tough trip.

  10. #10

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    Thanks AK Hunters,

    The JB Weld, aluminum pieces, and pop rivets are a good idea. We have had a real wet late spring here in North Idaho this year. I hope the water levels on the North Slope of Alaska hold up too. My Alaska friend really has his heart set on running the rivers in his jet, and it looks fun to me too. If not, blue skies and good flying weather. I'm sure we will venture away from the crowds with my plane too.


    James

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    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    wonder if you might not ditch the boat and carry a big tank of av gas in the truck instead?
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    I don't think you can buy any fuel from the Happy Valley Strip. The guys that operate from their bring their own. It is not a public airport, just an old strip. You can expect sea fog to roll in a lot, burns off around noon most days. If you keep the boat empty you might be Okay,, that is what gets most folks they load down their boat and before they know it they are overloaded.

    Mike from 70 North also flies from there and is a great guy, he would also be a good source for fuel info for that area.
    http://www.alaskaflyers.com/


    Deltana Outfitters operates from HV, call them and ask what is available.
    http://deltana.com/



    Have fun and be safe, I will be up there again this fall as well.

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
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