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Thread: Nabesna to McCarthy

  1. #1
    Member akfaller's Avatar
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    Default Nabesna to McCarthy

    Has anyone hiked Nabesna to McCarthy? What could be expected when hiking and rafting? Anyone doing it this summer? Looking to do it in July. I appreciate any info.

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    These guys trekked from Nebesna to Chitina.

    http://www.aktrekking.com/2004/Wrang...rangells1.html
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Member oakman's Avatar
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    Default this looks like fun....

    These guys used Alpacka rafts to do part of the trip. Their pictures are amazing.

    http://www.alpackaraft.com/forums/vi...c.php?f=6&t=42

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    Default My trip from Nabesna to McCarthy

    I hiked Nabesna to McCarthy as a solo trip in the end of June, 2001. It is a wet and wild adventure!!! I drive a small car and could only make it to mile 29 on the Nabesna road, so I walked the last 11 miles to the trailhead. The rivers and creeks are big that time of year so be prepared for that. If it has been raining a lot the creeks and rivers could be impassable. You'll need an Alpacka raft if you want to be reasonably safe on the rivers. It gets rough and tough right away when you cross Jack Creek. The coldest I've ever been in my life was on day 1 of that trip when the Nabesna river repeatedly swamped my boat. The hydraulics can be difficult on the Nabesna, especially where two channels of different volumes converge. The walking up Cooper creek is OK, there can be a waterfall towards Cooper pass if the water is high. You can't float Notch creek. The hiking is superb between Chisana and the White river, with great views the whole way. After the White river, WATCH OUT for Lime creek, Middle Fork creek, and Flood creek! They can be TREACHEROUS, and were when I crossed them, but others have reported that they weren't that bad when they crossed. The Goat Trail can be tricky....there are several game trails that cross over very dangerous terrain and can easily lead you from the safest path. Beware of the Chitistone River! I tried to cross it with my raft and went for a very scary swim. If it looks bad, it probably is, and you'll want to hike upstream and cross over the glacier terminus. Definitely don't attempt to cross the Chitistone on foot below where the two forks converge. I've watched 800 lb. grizzlies flail and swim that river! Toby creek can be a bad crossing. You should be able to float the Chitistone from Glacier creek, I've done it 3 times now. The Nizina is a relatively easy float, but with the same hydraulic issues as the Nabesna. Once you see the washed out bridge over the Nizina, you're home free! The road to town follows the cut bank on the north side. The mosquitoes here can be so bad that they will actually carry you away. You won't keep your feet dry on this trip so I'd recommend trail shoes or something you can get wet and just keep walking.

    Just remember that you're a looooong way from help in some pretty burly terrain on this trip. Good luck!

    Paul

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    Just had a couple more thoughts. Apparently other groups have been able to float sections of Jack Creek and Notch Creek. When you cross Skolai Creek I'd recommend that you cross immediately after Upper Skolai Lake (adjacent to Russel Glacier with the icebergs floating around) if at all possible. If you can't do the crossing on foot than use your raft to cross on the lake. Downstream of the lake the creek braids substantially and creates a soggy marsh that is wider than it appears. It is also easier to access the Goat Trail from this area than crossing Skolai further downstream and having to backtrack upstream on the other side. Also, no matter where you float the Chitistone river it should not be taken lightly!

    Lastly, you didn't mention specifically if you'll have partners or not. Having done it solo, I'd recommend having a partner if at all possible. If not, I understand, I've done quite a few solo packrafting trips in Alaska, but having done so I definitely recognize the additional potential dangers! If nothing else you'll need to make sure you have previous experience packrafting in Alaska's rivers, and are familiar with hiking in Alaska's wilderness.

    Paul

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    Member akfaller's Avatar
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    Well, its been two years since I first asked about this trip. Me and a buddy finally did it! Although we didn't complete the entire route it was a good time. See more on my blog, http://akfaller.blogspot.com/

    Thanks again fellas.

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Awesome! Just reading this thread has been great.

    The blog is incredible with great photos. I know & love that country. Thanks so much for sharing this adventure!
    Faller, you're a tough son of a gun; and your bud is still a tough guy; few would even attempt such an endeavor.

    Kudos to you both!
    Proud to be an American!

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Very cool stuff, akfaller; I've been wanting to do this trip for years, and will definitely use your blog as a reference. Rep to you!
    "Ė Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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