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Thread: Death on Montana Creek

  1. #1
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Death on Montana Creek

    I want to be as sensitive as I can with the victim being a local Valley resident.

    Just a word of warning. Of all the rivers I have boated in Alaska, and as innocent as Montana Creek looks, it's the only one that has almost killed me. It looks so innocent from the Yoder and Parks Hwy bridges, but what is in between can be sweeper and strainer Hell. I ended up in sweeper like what killed this man when my brother and I decided we were experienced enough to try it in a canoe. After the first close call we ended up dragging that canoe for a few miles and never tried it again. Then the added risk of going it alone.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    Sad, so sad, I hate seeing people die having innocent fun.
    I have been running whitewater for for almost 30 years now, have been kayaking for 10, and have over 50 rivers under my belt. This year was the closest I ever came to dying, it was because of wood.
    We were running high water and a guy swam and lost his boat. My son and I were the only boaters who were good enough to go look for it in a wood filled canyon. I broke a rule, ONE TIME, and went around a blind corner, and there was a pile of tangled cottonwoods waiting for me with no place for me to exit. I tried grabbing brush on the sides to stop me and instantly flipped, I pushed off the bottom and threw myself river left which was a better choice than right. I then aggressively superman swam myself on the wood, my feet almost got pulled under, but I fought and made it while my boat went under.
    I tore my left quad, but was sitting on a tree two feet above the water in the middle of a huge log jam. A miracle? My son caught an eddy when he seen me go over, and tried to get a throw bag to me. He had to go downstream, cross, and walk back up to get a bag to me. I got the boat, and myself out that time, was injured, but alive.

    In hindsight it was all my fault, never wing blind corners, ever, ever, ever. Don't get comfortable, complacent, ever. Always remember, high water changes these streams every year, wood moves, new wood get deposited, many jams are tombs just waiting.

    I am lucky, I could not make that move the next 50 tries in a row, I am still puzzled how I made it over 5-6 trees and ended up on one two feet above the water? Luck, a miracle, we don't want to test the unknown.

    Be safe, keep your eyes ahead on the water, NEVER wing blind corners, get out, walk around them and look.

    A sad day for the sportsman's community

  3. #3


    Great advice. It is worth noting this individual had as many days floating/fishing valley stream as anyone. Sad day for sure

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2014


    You couldn't make me do a float like that if you held a gun to my head. The thrill seekers can have that all to themselves.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  5. #5
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Whitehorse Yukon


    Was that the water level the accident occurred at (in the image)? Seems really low.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.


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