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Thread: Wind River Expedition

  1. #1
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    Default Wind River Expedition

    Hello,

    I am arranging a floating expedition next augoust. We have almos decided it will be the Wind River on ANWR.
    Has anyone done this river? if so, we would really appreciate receiving information, above all on wildlife sightings. Do we have "high chance" on spotting grizzly bear or wolf? dall sheep? moose?

    Along with that, I guess its outstanding terrain for hiking, isnīt it?

    Thank you for your replys and best regards

  2. #2
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Default

    Are you referring to the Wind River in the northern Yukon??

  3. #3
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default The Wind River in Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner View Post
    Are you referring to the Wind River in the northern Yukon??
    I think he's talking about the Wind River in Alaska; GMU 25A, in the eastern Brooks Range.

    Spain, I sorta waited to post on this thread because I wanted to give other folks a chance to chime in. From the lack of response, one of two things is happening. Either nobody's been there or they're keeping it quiet. I suspect the former.

    I don't know your experience level, but there are some hazards on that river you should know about. For starters, there are some stretches of Class III whitewater, with large boulders in the main channel. The upper river can be shallow and rocky in low water years, because of limited snowpack. This year is shaping up to be one of those years, as we have not received huge amounts of snow. That said, perhaps someone local to the area could chime in here with some real numbers in terms of inches of snow. Last year, several parties were bitten pretty hard by low water, because they didn't see the signs from the previous winter. Don't fall into this trap! Fly the river on your way in to confirm the conditions and have an alternate plan in case of low water. If you try to float it with low water you'll be dragging your boats for miles. This is no fun, let me tell you.

    You might also try the west or middle forks of the Chandalar or perhaps the Wild River; these rivers top out at Class II and are a bit more user friendly in lower water. The exception is a section of shallow water on the middle fork of the Chandalar, just below Ackerman Lake. This is always a rock garden even in good years, but can be a problem in low water. The West fork Chandalar and the Wild River both flow out of lakes, so you should have a pretty good flow there no matter what. In all cases, fly your route before you drop off, or you could be sorry!

    I have a complete writeup on the Wind River in my book "Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers", and I believe it is the only such report in print. You can purchase a copy at my new website, ALASKAFLOATHUNTING.COM. I also offer a consultation service to help you put your trip together, should you need such a thing.

    Best of luck on your trip, and keep the questions coming!

    Best regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    Well I just have to ask, Mike. Why would you include a river with class III rapids in your book? Wouldn't that sort of water make rafting a hunting type load near impossible? Must be some awful good hunting along that river?????????
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  5. #5
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    Default MT

    Martentrapper you crack me up I needed that!
    Every post is like hey I got a book out & I can plan your trip...sometimes a little overpowering with the advertising.
    Mike can you add any personal float experiance from that river?

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Class III

    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Well I just have to ask, Mike. Why would you include a river with class III rapids in your book? Wouldn't that sort of water make rafting a hunting type load near impossible? Must be some awful good hunting along that river?????????
    MT,

    Nothing wrong with a little Class III or IV for folks experienced enough to handle it, even with heavier loads. Of course in Spain's case I don't think this is a hunting trip, as he is a non resident alien and would need to hire a guide to hunt any big game species. So big loads are not as much of an issue for his situation. I don't generally recommend rivers like this for inexperienced floaters, which is why I said I didn't know about his experience level. Naturally you have to take precautions, but if Spain is experienced he already knows this.

    As to float hunting such rivers, there should be no problem for those with the appropriate skills.

    Note to JeffP- didn't mean to get your tail in a knot over the book recommendation. I'm just excited about finally having it out for folks (it's been over ten years). But more germane to the original question, I recommended the only print resource I know of on the Wind River. If you have another, or know something about this drainage, feel free to add your insights as well. I'm tapped out on this one, boys. If you have more, chime in!

    Hope it helps!

    Best regards,

    -Mike
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 12-25-2007 at 18:04.
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    Hey guys, no criticism from me. I'm just waiting for the time when I've got a business endeavor I can advertise for free on here. With the upcoming changes in musk ox hunting in unit 22, that opportunity may soon be here.
    Mike, I'm completely clueless as to just what class III means. Maybe it's not as bad as I thought. I'm sure your write up in the book covers the risks adequately.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  8. #8
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default No problem-

    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Hey guys, no criticism from me. I'm just waiting for the time when I've got a business endeavor I can advertise for free on here. With the upcoming changes in musk ox hunting in unit 22, that opportunity may soon be here.
    Mike, I'm completely clueless as to just what class III means. Maybe it's not as bad as I thought. I'm sure your write up in the book covers the risks adequately.
    MT,

    You're probably not aware that I'm a paying advertiser on this website... as a result I have a little more latitude in that area. But I do try to be careful anyway. We have to be balanced, so the same rules apply to everyone.

    Now, back to the question at hand!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SPAIN View Post
    Hello,

    I am arranging a floating expedition next augoust. We have almos decided it will be the Wind River on ANWR.
    Has anyone done this river? if so, we would really appreciate receiving information, above all on wildlife sightings. Do we have "high chance" on spotting grizzly bear or wolf? dall sheep? moose?

    Along with that, I guess its outstanding terrain for hiking, isnīt it?

    Thank you for your replys and best regards
    I'd say you've got a good chance of seeing all of the above game where you're going. I would you recommend you talk to some of the transporters such as Wright Air Service, Yukon Air and Coyote Air to keep up with the current water conditions up there before you go. They might also be able to get you in touch with folks who did the float before recently.

    Snow level is a little low so far...but the winter is young. You can get a little idea what's going on with the snow in the area by checking out Arctic Village, the nearest settlement to the Wind River, on the webcam at: http://akweathercams.faa.gov/ Click on the Northeast segment of the State and go to the Arctic Village webcam. It shows black except for a few hours right now.

    Michael: I've never gone on a float hunt yet, but one of these days hope to. I really appreciate all the free information you've taken the time to put here....Louis

  10. #10
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default More information-

    Spain,

    I got to digging a bit and came up with two other sources of info on the Wind River for you.

    The first is the National Wild and Scenic Rivers page. The Wind River is one of our National Wild and Scenic Rivers. Not much info on the page, but HERE'S THE LINK. http://www.rivers.gov/wsr-wind.html

    The second source is a trip report listed in the Alaska River Logs, located both here in Outdoors Directory and on my rivers page. I gave our webmaster what I thought were all of the Alaska River Logs, but I'm not finding the one for the Wind River on ODD. Go to alaskafloathunting.com and navigate to my "Rivers" page. You'll find the Wind River report there. You might read through this as it provides a pretty good trip report, but keep in mind that this is only a snapshot of a trip on the river and will not be reflective of your experience, in all likelihood. Meanwhile, we'll have to take a look and make sure all the reports are parked here on ODD too.

    Earlier I said that my writeup on the Wind River was the only one in print. I guess technically that's true, but I had forgotten about the River Logs. They're not officially "in print", but they do exist electronically now. Ah well... here it is anyway. Enjoy!

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 12-26-2007 at 12:29.
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  11. #11
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    Default Mike

    The first link is not working. Thanks for all the information and help.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default oops!

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardC View Post
    The first link is not working. Thanks for all the information and help.

    Sorry about that! Should be working now...

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  13. #13
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    Default Thank You

    Hi Michael and Louis,

    Thank you very much for your help. Any advice given will be taken as a treasure, because there is lack of information on Wind River (Yukoner, I was asking for the Wind in Alaska, Thank you).

    My floating experience is just scarce: I have kayaked lots of sea cost in Spain (Mediterranean Sea), but no floating experience but a short rafting white water experience in the Alps. So, "novice rafter".

    Our trip is intended to be a hiking and wildlife viewing trip mixed with a floating experience in Alaska.

    I will keep on searching for info on the river, and once done I will comment the experience with all of you.

    Thank you and best regards from Spain.
    Jaime

  14. #14
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Note to Jaime-

    Quote Originally Posted by SPAIN View Post
    Hi Michael and Louis,

    Thank you very much for your help. Any advice given will be taken as a treasure, because there is lack of information on Wind River (Yukoner, I was asking for the Wind in Alaska, Thank you).

    My floating experience is just scarce: I have kayaked lots of sea cost in Spain (Mediterranean Sea), but no floating experience but a short rafting white water experience in the Alps. So, "novice rafter".

    Our trip is intended to be a hiking and wildlife viewing trip mixed with a floating experience in Alaska.

    I will keep on searching for info on the river, and once done I will comment the experience with all of you.

    Thank you and best regards from Spain.
    Jaime
    Jaime,

    Sounds good. I think with your comment about your experience level I would recommend another river. If you want to float the Brooks Range, there are plenty of other choices that offer a quality experience without having to deal with the whitewater issue.

    I received your PM and will write back as soon as I get a chance to do so. Thanks for the kind words.

    Best regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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