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Thread: New member, Just starting my research.

  1. #1
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    Default New member, Just starting my research.

    Hello all,

    I guess Ill just plow through this. I have put a down payment on 20 acres of remote land that I woild like to try to pit a summer/fall cabin on as I am busy working winters. I want to start very simply and keep my options open and let the plan develop as I get more information and experience.

    The property is at the foot of the revelation range, on an untimbered slope above a swampy valley. I will be making a trip up next.summer to camp on property and get a real plan of action together for havesting logs nearby for construction. If the old school method is not feasible I am considering a kit transported via snowmachine in the winter though the costs and the timeline will be extended in that case.

    My questions right now are should I even consider building a cabin with summer and fall use in mind or should it be year round ready in case I want to stay or sell it?

    Harvesting logs off property is going to tough, swampy business do any of you have experience with this?

    If any of you are in Mcgrath, do you have any experience with this area, is there anyone I should talk to?

    What do you guys use for budgeting, Im using google docs right now, but if you have any tips I would love.to hear them.

    Now, before you start the you dont want to do this posts, understand I do have experience building in difficult terrain here in MT, I do have experience living alone in the mountains and I do have experience with bears, skeeters, cold, hunger and broken equipment. Im really more interested in your thoughts on the logistics, the techniques and the people I need to talk to.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Don't cut someones elses logs for sure.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  3. #3
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    absolutely. Ive contacted Dnr and forwarded the forester that would issue permits the survey map. The vast majority of the surrounding area is state land, but I will certainly be careful of local property rights

  4. #4

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    Have you ever seen this land, and walked it........????

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    What's the access? Is there an airstrip on this property? From your description, this sounds really remote, even by Alaska standards, which means lot's of $$ to do anything.

    Start with what type of vehicle(s) are required to get there (boat, wheel plane, float plane, etc.). Assuming access is only by plane in the summer, you'll need to contact air taxi operators and get their costs to fly you and supplies out, what the plane's capacity is, limitations, etc. It maybe cheaper to air freight stuff to McGrath and then charter from there, or it may be cheaper to charter out of Anchorage. Although, neither option will actually be cheap.

    If you plan to build a log cabin from scratch, you will need a lot of time, skill, and something to move the logs from where you cut them to your build site. Getting an ATV there is doable but likely expensive.

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    what fork of the big are you on?

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    Its the valley formed between the revelations and the lyman hills. Google maps: 61.864892,-154.594219

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    Yes, it looks like there are two air charter services the fly that area, I have sent emails and left messages, but I haven't spoken with them. I know these are busy guys. But i do think it will be cheaper to freight stuff into Mcgrath then charter flights from there. Its looking like its going to be a chainsaw winch to get logs out of the swamp then cold deck them and come back with an ATV or a snowmobile. Im a little worried about cold-decking on public property, I will be permitted, but if I have neighbors they may take an interest in my stack while Im away working.

  9. #9

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    Yes your neighbors will keep a eye on your wood pile as they stock up their wood pile and thank you for putting it all in one place.Hopeful that I am just joking !!!!!!!!

  10. #10
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    You may look into chartering a DC-3 into Farewell with your lumber then charter a helicopter to sling it up the river for you. In the long run it would probably cost about the same as flying material into McGrath and hauling it out from there. Gas is not cheap here. And you would have everything on site in a day or so verses a few weeks of freighting out of McGrath.

  11. #11
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    Perhaps I missed it, but is there even trail access to your property? Also, if the timing works for you, I'd just barge all your materials into Mcgrath as it should be much cheaper than dealing with the aircarriers. I've done some fairly large scale remote building projects (one lodge and one large lodge addition) I also live in one of those lodges. If you can log with a snowmachine and a set of logging bobs that works really well if the terrain will allow it. One thing to consider is purchasing a portable sawmill like a woodmiser LT10. That will greatly ease the logging issue as you can mill at the stump and just haul the product to the building site. A chainsaw mill will work also. They are slower but much easier to move around and can be run in most any temperature where the bandsawmills require lubricant for the blades which doesn't like getting really cold. Having been through this a couple times with a tight budget and remote sites I have a million thoughts on this, but those are a couple for now. Best of luck with your endeavor. Just remember that tenacity is what's going to make this happen.

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    I just looked your area up in the Gazetteer. Is this one of those state lot sales? That's going to be a YANK from Mcgrath by snogo with freight, unless someone has a GOOD trail in. If they do I would imagine it's a trapline of sorts which means they are probably not going to want you on it until after March first if at all.

    I think the suggestion of flying everything into Farewell is solid. However, I have no idea what the feasibility is of freighting stuff by snogo over from there. Do you know how close you can land to your lot? It could be many miles of absolute ass between where a plane can land and your building site. Depending on your budget constraints, I probably opt for getting dropped off with a bunch of tools and hardware. Bring a chainsaw mill and make any lumber you need onsite, using round wood for the bulk of the construction. At least anything you want to heat. (could even go with two or three sided if it would make the building faster for you) If you bring in rigid foam insulation (blue board) you can go with a hot roof and not worry about moisture condensing in you insulation. It is harder to fly than fiberglass though.I also strongly urge you to insulate the floor as well. (If you have any plans regarding using this in the winter time) I am curious as well s to whether or not you've actually been to the location. Again. best of luck.

  13. #13
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    Yes there is a trail up from the main stem of the big river to the subdivision. Looks like the lodge down there runs ATVs on it.

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    That makes a big difference. I'd look into the barge for materials delivery. Assuming you can find someone to watch your stuff until you can get it hauled.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    A barge isn't getting anywhere close to that lot. Your best access for walking in is the lake to the east or up from Big River Lodge. If it were me, I would contact Big River Lodge and become friends with them. You are going to need to land at their airstrip and use their trails (even though they are on public land). They only way to be good neighbors in that country is approach them and see what happens. You have a herculean task ahead of you.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    I guess I should clarify. The barge will haul his freight to Mcgrath and he can then move it from there to his site by snowmachine via the trail he says is there. Flying materials ect... from the road system to the lodge strip or some gravel bar is going to be very expensive (I'm betting prohibitively so. Unless he's VERY well healed) unless he brings basically tools and hardware and just plans on making all materials off the land.

  17. #17
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    The difficulty of getting materials from McGrath to there is going to be tremendous. You are looking at a 100 mile one way trip. With a good trail it's going to be doable if there is snow. On low snow years look what happens in that area to the Iditarod mushers. Take a look at Big River Lodge's website. The cabins are what they are for a reason. This is one location that logging and milling your own is going to be far easier than freighting it in.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    The difficulty of getting materials from McGrath to there is going to be tremendous. You are looking at a 100 mile one way trip. With a good trail it's going to be doable if there is snow. On low snow years look what happens in that area to the Iditarod mushers. Take a look at Big River Lodge's website. The cabins are what they are for a reason. This is one location that logging and milling your own is going to be far easier than freighting it in.
    I would have to think this is about the best advice.. Get to know your neighbors there are some reallly good one there...

  19. #19
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    Trees around there are small. Access will be very difficult by snowmachine from anywhere. The "lodges" in that area were built with lots and lots of trips in 206s and Cubs. Maybe a chartered Otter or Skyvan to the bigger strips, which are private. Your undertaking is ambitious to say the least. More ambitious than practical. Where there's a will there's a way but it won't be easy or cheap.

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    It sure is pretty country.
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