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Thread: Upper Kenai Logjam update?

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Upper Kenai Logjam update?

    Hi folks,

    We posted a sticky at the top of the rafting forum concerning a large cottonwood that had fallen across a branch of the upper Kenai River a while back.

    Just wondering if anyone knows whether this obstacle has been removed? I wonder if it would be easier to remove this time of the year, with the river presumably frozen over? Thoughts?

    -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 AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Default Log Jam

    Mike is this the braid that takes off on river left just below the power line braid then comes back into the main channel just above the rock face?

  3. #3
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default wondering

    I am also wondering if this is the one that created havoc last year on that back braid.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default The same one as last summer

    Yes, I'm talking about the same log that was giving folks trouble last summer. I just need an update, or to know if someone removed it yet.

    -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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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default

    Looks like nobody knows. Im going on vacation in march but will be floating the upper river the first part of april. If nothing is said by then Ill hike back and see if the problem still exists, I do know exactly where it is at.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default I was hoping...

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    Looks like nobody knows. Im going on vacation in march but will be floating the upper river the first part of april. If nothing is said by then Ill hike back and see if the problem still exists, I do know exactly where it is at.
    Thanks, Chuck!

    I was hoping that perhaps it might be easier to deal with while the area is frozen over. But I haven't seen it, so I don't know if it makes a difference or not. Maybe the ice isn't even thick enough to get in there right now. I float the upper Kenai a lot, but never checked out the jam after the reports came out last year.

    Anybody got any ideas on this? I might get a wild hair and take a drive down that way before breakup.

    -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.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Default Log jam

    Mike, I looked at a previous post where you posted a google earth pic. of the braid in question. This is what friends and I have dubbed the Bear braid, and to my knowledge it has never been floatable. I have hiked it many times and have noted numerous log jams. I spoke with a couple guys on the river one day that floated through it in one man cats and they said that they had a horrible experience, taking most of the day just to get through it. The flood of, I believe, 1995 removed some of the debris but this braid still remained log jammed in a few places. I think '95 was the year. The flood I'm talking about is the same one that destroyed the whorl pool hole. If this braid was ever floatable, it's news to me.

  8. #8
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default different spot?

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Troutbum View Post
    Mike, I looked at a previous post where you posted a google earth pic. of the braid in question. This is what friends and I have dubbed the Bear braid, and to my knowledge it has never been floatable. I have hiked it many times and have noted numerous log jams. I spoke with a couple guys on the river one day that floated through it in one man cats and they said that they had a horrible experience, taking most of the day just to get through it. The flood of, I believe, 1995 removed some of the debris but this braid still remained log jammed in a few places. I think '95 was the year. The flood I'm talking about is the same one that destroyed the whorl pool hole. If this braid was ever floatable, it's news to me.
    I think we're talking about two different places. I first heard of the issue from the guys at Alaska Raft and Kayak last summer, and posted it here. Subsequently it became clear that the original map had the jam in the wrong spot. We re-located it and one of the groups that lost a boat in there posted in the thread. In fact, I met them on the river one weekend, after they'd attempted to recover some of their stuff in there. Anyway, it's a floatable braid for sure. A large cottonwood fell across it and created the problem. I'm hoping someone can cut that log out of there before the water rises again and someone who doesn't know about it gets hurt in there.

    I think I know the "un-floatable" braid you're thinking of. I tried it one year in an AIRE Puma and ended up having to drag the boat through the woods to the main river. It was a nightmare.

    -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.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  9. #9
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Default

    Could this be the spot your talking about?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10

    Default Log Jam

    No, that pic is not the place of the jam. End of last Sept. I talked to a couple guys who had chainsaws with their flypoles. They were working on the obstruction but needed the river to drop a couple feet to be able to get it done. They said there was a boat piled up there still and needed to get it before freezeup.

  11. #11
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Down farther...

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Troutbum View Post
    Could this be the spot your talking about?
    Trout,

    It's farther downriver. See the attached map.

    -Mike
    Attached Images Attached Images
    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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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  12. #12
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Default Log Jam

    Ya Mike, the braid that you keep posting is the one that we (friends and I) have dubbed the Bear braid and is the braid that, to my knowledge, has never been floatable. The photo of the braid that I posted is actually down river from the pic you posted and is the braid that eventually flows into Jims braid. So, you are correct about that braid being log jammed there where you pointed out, but it is also log jammed in many other places up stream from there.

  13. #13
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Hmm...

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Troutbum View Post
    Ya Mike, the braid that you keep posting is the one that we (friends and I) have dubbed the Bear braid and is the braid that, to my knowledge, has never been floatable. The photo of the braid that I posted is actually down river from the pic you posted and is the braid that eventually flows into Jims braid. So, you are correct about that braid being log jammed there where you pointed out, but it is also log jammed in many other places up stream from there.
    Trout,

    Well, I didn't float that braid last year, so maybe you are correct. What I do know is that I've run into a lot of folks who HAVE floated it many times in the past. I know at one point there were two boats hung up in it; an 18' AIRE cataraft, and an aluminum drift boat. I guess someone could get a cataraft through the area if it had other logs, but I don't think a drift boat could have gotten clear to the end where the log is unless the rest of the channel was clear.

    Maybe it's a different spot than you are thinking of...

    Maybe I'll park the boat and hike in there some time this summer, if it's still there.

    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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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm with Troutbum on this one, I also know the braid in question as "The Bear Braid" (small world <grin>). It has at times over the years been passable, but usually it was the exception, not the rule. I ran it many years ago in a raft, and it was fairly easy with a few logs to deal with. Ran it a few years later in a one man cat, and it was an allllll day nightmare. Generally it's a good "pull the boat over and hike in" spot. It ain't called Bear Braid fer nuffin tho'. After the original thread last summer I asked around down there and the consensus I got was the folks who ran it, and subsequently had the problems, had very little Kenai Time under their belt, and it was a bad case of "oh, look, I see a boat going down that small braid, it must be OK to follow". Not trying for any slams here, we all make mistakes, but this braid needs to be scouted before it is run...Hard task given it's length and brush choked banks, but it's a route seldom traveled, and is notorious for it's logjams and obstacles......
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  15. #15
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default You're probably right-

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    I'm with Troutbum on this one, I also know the braid in question as "The Bear Braid" (small world <grin>). It has at times over the years been passable, but usually it was the exception, not the rule. I ran it many years ago in a raft, and it was fairly easy with a few logs to deal with. Ran it a few years later in a one man cat, and it was an allllll day nightmare. Generally it's a good "pull the boat over and hike in" spot. It ain't called Bear Braid fer nuffin tho'. After the original thread last summer I asked around down there and the consensus I got was the folks who ran it, and subsequently had the problems, had very little Kenai Time under their belt, and it was a bad case of "oh, look, I see a boat going down that small braid, it must be OK to follow". Not trying for any slams here, we all make mistakes, but this braid needs to be scouted before it is run...Hard task given it's length and brush choked banks, but it's a route seldom traveled, and is notorious for it's logjams and obstacles......
    I'll try to sneak in there from the downstream end this summer and check it out. You guys are probably right.

    Hippie, I liked your Hemingway quote:

    "All thinking men are atheists" -Hemingway.

    Here's another:

    "Now, lessee... can I get my big toe through the trigger guard of this loaded 12-gauge, while I aim it at my head?" -Hemingway

    (apparently he could)

    If there were only two choices (and there aren't), I'd rather be a living, ignorant Christian with hope, than a dead, thinking atheist with none.

    But that's just me...



    (Mike grins, ducks his head, and runs out of the room...)

    Peace, brother.

    -Mike
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 03-01-2008 at 00:34.
    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

  16. #16

    Default Why?

    I have rafted the Upper Kenai a number of times from Cooper Landing to Skilak Lake, in an 18' Aire Leopard, and throughly enjoy it. I am certainly on the upside of the learning curve.

    My question is: Why go down this braid? At least intentionally? Is it the adventure? Good fishing hole? Good practice for some place else? Something different to maybe learn something from? Quiet? Good place to take the old lady? That should do it. Thanks.

  17. #17

    Default Why not?

    Oh the possibilities. Exploring new water is part of it.
    Floated past it several times and said.

    We could fit...
    There is prolly a big trout back there...
    and bears...
    You know no one else is back there...
    Theres that junk on the back side...
    Lets walk it sometime to check it out...

  18. #18
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default

    I float the upper kenai at least 40 times a year. This will be my 5th year on that part of the water. I have seen that briad and about the only time it has ever even looked close to floatable is in june and maybe early july when the river is still running high. When I started floating the river I had only been down it once with a guide. My wife and I stayed on the very cautious side staying in the main channel only the first year. As i learned what my raft can do, or shall I say what i can do with my raft we started going down some different channles. As we did it started in early june. We always make mental notes as when the water drops most of those channels become inpassable. I know the powerline channel is floatable all summer and fall, The back channel to 57 hole gets pretty shallow and narrow. The braid where the jam is, is a channel i have never thought about going down. Even in the high water it looks very tight and narrow. High brush, and just pretty intimidating. After the jam was reported there i stopped and chatted with the man who ruined me on the river. Guide Dominac bauer out of alaska clearwater. We were on the island right accross from the entrance to this braid. He has never floated it, hiked in a few times but it is called the "bear braid" for a reason. Dont get me wrong the wife and I have explored most of the channels from the bridge to jims. In doing so while we are on the water and see someone take a channel we had never taken, we would stop and chat with them. After getting some information about the channel or braid we would take it the next float if we were pleased with what we heard. Remeber if a boat goes down the channel, then you dont see it the rest of the day. Probably not a nice place to go. Sorry for the ramble just good coffee and cabin fever today.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Default

    The quote I like from AkHippie is: "The word "wilderness" occurs approximately 300 times in the Bible, & all its meanings are derogatory." ~René Dubos

    Unfortunately, it's not true ----- It only occurs 294 times -- (KJV)

    Anyway, when they wrote "wilderness" they were usually referring to dry desert areas, which I tend to think of in negative terms as well. But I did a little looking and found most uses of "wilderness" in the Bible to be neutral, not negative, and I found more than several places that used "wilderness" in a positive light. So much for nit picking Rene Dubos.

    I also find it amusing to read Hemingway write that all thinking men are atheists, when any casual search of history proves him wrong. Some of the best minds have always had a religious bent. They just didn't agree on their religion.


    Anyway, I always looked at this channel as too small to investigate with my boat, so I've ignored it. I've always been a fairly conservative boater though. I don't mind class V water, but I want to see what I'm getting into first. Logjams are killers.


  20. #20
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    Logjams are killers. [/FONT]
    Even the small, innoculous ones that seem so "not dangerous"

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