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Thread: Renting/Borrowing an Alpacka raft?

  1. #1
    Member skydiver_99654's Avatar
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    Default Renting/Borrowing an Alpacka raft?

    I have the Eagle River Goat hunt coming up in Sept. I was wondering if anybody would loan/rent me their Alpacka raft for use on a 3 day hunt? If nobody has one, does anyplace in town rent them? I hate to spend a grand on one when I'll probably only use it one time. I figured if I managed to harvest a goat, it'd be a whole lot easier to raft it down the Eagle River 12 miles than to hike the whole thing out on my own (going solo). If not successful with obtaining a raft, then I'll hike it twice...but that could get old...48 miles in just 2 days of walking.......in my younger days ...1 trip, my older days....definitely 2 different trips.
    Thanks,
    Johnny

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Johnny, I have a friend who runs a guiding service using Alpackas. While I don't think he'll rent them out, I'll certainly ask. You might also try REI (they sell them for sure, and rent some things out) or possibly Alaska Raft & Kayak, though I'm not sure they're a dealer.

    If you do end up rafting it, make sure you take out at Echo Bend (3 miles from the visitor center). I believe the water just down from there pushes Class IV, and you don't want to be taking on that kind of water in a loaded pack raft.

    Good luck to you, and I'll let you know if I find out anything about renting a raft.

  3. #3
    Member skydiver_99654's Avatar
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    Default Thanks Brian

    Thanks Brian. I was just going off of what you said earlier about Thunder Gorge. I believe that is 12 miles back. Also thanks to Carnivore for the advice. If I don't feel like packing a goat that far, I'll try Icicle Creek drainage. Has anybody been up in that area? What is the access up Icicle Creek? I've been to the drainage down by the Eagle River, but never up "into" the drainage. Is it climbable? Have to hike up a waterfall? I will probably head out there in a coupla weeks to check it out, but just trying to get an idea of the access. I have seen 6 goats/+6 sheep grazing together up there a coupla months back, but don't know if that area would be easily accessible (i use that term loosely), or if the Thunder Gorge would have better access or more Goats?
    Again thanks for all your input and advice,
    Johnny

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    Default Not worth the packraft

    Icicle Creek is an easy hunt. I have taken one, and brother in-law taken one out of there. Several other goats farther up valley by thunder gorge and are easy to get to. Why packraft? The crow pass trail allows you to hike at approx. 3 miles an hour. If you kill one at Icicle, you will only be able to packraft 2.5 miles before the rapids. You could hike that far in the time it would take you to inflate and get the packraft ready.

    No matter what you decide to do, it is gorgeous country, plenty of goats, lots of mature billies, and lots of options. I am very jealous. I could tell you how to get into Icicle Creek Glacier, but it will be more rewarding to figure it out on your own. Go in there a time or two and scout it out, and you will figure out the access.

    Bottom line: Gorgeous country, lots of white dots, packraft totally un-necessary.

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    Default Did crow pass last saturday

    Forgot to mention that I ran Crow pass last saturday and brought my 11 oz. binos so I could scope for sheep and goats along the way. 1 big billy on the ridge upstream from thunder gorge. From below only 3,000 ft up to him, but few alders and no cliffs. Goats were also in there typical spots on both sides of Icicle gorge.

    Again, I am very jealous. Have fun and good luck.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I am really looking forward to the early-season archery registration hunt for Eagle River goats that is starting up next year. I'll certainly be giving that a shot next fall, unless I have some other drawing permit hunt to pursue.

  7. #7
    Member skydiver_99654's Avatar
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    Default Pack Raft

    Quote Originally Posted by sheepshape365 View Post
    Forgot to mention that I ran Crow pass last saturday and brought my 11 oz. binos so I could scope for sheep and goats along the way. 1 big billy on the ridge upstream from thunder gorge. From below only 3,000 ft up to him, but few alders and no cliffs. Goats were also in there typical spots on both sides of Icicle gorge.

    Again, I am very jealous. Have fun and good luck.
    Sheepshape,
    I was more concerned with taking a packraft all the way back to Thunder Gorge. If I couldn't get one, I'd stick around Icicle Creek for the relatively short 6 mile hike back. If I hunted Thunder Gorge, I'd be able to save 9 miles by foot on the way back. Not being lazy, but 200+ pounds on my back for 12+ miles can beat up my back pretty good. I know I can do it, but it wouldn't be pleasant. Maybe I need to hang around the bars late at night and take home the "big-boned" ladies to have fun with....by the time I'm done with them, I'll be able to pack out more than my share of 200+ pound critters ! By the way, how much does an average Billy weigh when its boned out and on your back? Maybe I'll make my way back there this weekend for a wet weekend of camping to get a good idea of where I'll be doing? Any thoughts?..I know that there are a handful of goats in Icicle Creek....but what are the populations up near Thunder Gorge? I've never been that far back. Would it be more conducive to hunt the half dozen or so that live up Icicle? Or is there a whole lot more than a half dozen back at Thunder Gorge? Bring the Koflachs? Or just good hunting boots for sidehilling? I used the Koflachs last year on a goat hunt (unsuccessful), and man those rocks were slippery ! Once again, thanks for all the input. That is why I love this site !
    Johnny
    P.S. What bar has their fair share of 300 pound women at closing time...?

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    Default Big-Boned goats

    Skydiver,
    I've spent quite a bit of time up ER Valley running, hiking, skiing, hunting, chasing granola girls, etc...lol. I don't mind letting you in on a few of my observations. But there is no substitute to getting in and up there yourself a few times. We did our goat hunts in 2.5 days each, not nearly enough time to wait out and figure out how to get the biggest billies. Wish we could of taken a week or ten days each and got some real hogs. We basically shot a 3 year old and a 4 year old billy, not super big, probably 75-85 lbs of meat on each, all boned except the hams. Save that for at home to get the best cuts of meat. Both were excellent eating, guess they were young enough to not be too stinky.

    I would not want to packraft out ER with a goat if I did not own and use a packraft regularly on that type of water. There were several new green sweepers near Thunder Gorge, and the water is quite swift, definitely sustained class II. Like I said, no substitute to getting up there several times so scout it out.

    PM me and I will give you better 411 if you want on where I always seem to see the most goats. Also, ain't nothing wrong with those "big-boned" training partners, lol.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Crampons. My buddy got drawn for an archery sheep hunt up there years back and the crampons were a godsend. When not climbing/descending, you can walk around in your comfortable hunting boots.

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