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Thread: Upper Kenai Winter Conditions

  1. #1
    Member Ridgerat's Avatar
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    Default Upper Kenai Winter Conditions

    Thinking about floating the upper river next week on one man rafts, anyone by up there or driven by lately? Just wondering about the ice conditions and water level.
    thx!

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    Right now the web camera at Sportsmans boat launch (Russian River Ferry) looks packed with floating ice. I was thinking about doing the same thing, but I think i'll wait until we get some "warmer" weather to melt the river ice. Good luck.
    http://www.dot.state.ak.us/iways/roa...Id=12&viewId=6

  3. #3

    Default Lets do it

    Chris Stout, Chad and myself on different trips but about the same time last year did the Kenai ice float classic. I think we went March 30th not quite sure though. It was about 35 degrees, it was so nice to get out and about we didn't even notice the temperature. The river had just enough ripples to keep things interesting, it was a good time....
    Anyway, maybe this could turn into a springtime festival for boaters.
    I talked to Chris Saturday at the pool and this was mentioned, we are looking at April 1stish or so.

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Upper Kenai

    I was just down there a couple of weeks ago. There are ice shelves on both sides in many places, some bad enough that you would not be able to get out of the river. Also there were places that looked as if they might be jammed all the way across. I would urge caution.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Do not try it right now. As dog stated the river is clogged big time at the ferry crossing. also got a report of ice jams down further around mile 57 corner and just past the bear braids. I usually try to hit it again around mid march untill it closes 1 may. I have had a couple of happy easters on the river and winter camping there. Just a bit to dicey for my taste with all the ice right now
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Default Mark went the weekend before.

    It WAS 35 degrees when Mark went, that's why I went as well. Then it dropped to 28 degrees and snowed 8 inches while I was sleeping in my tent. The day on the river started with a 20 knot upstream wind for the first two hours, then it was pretty nice. I ended up bailing and hitching out because we thought we could do the lake to Jims, but we ended up reverse shuttling to sportsmans instead because of the brutal conditions. Any way, I'm in.

    Chris

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    "...because of the brutal conditions. Any way, I'm in."

    I had to laugh, Chris. That's the sign of a boater who is either serious about his sport, or just desperate for spring.

    I did it on the first of March once, and I know it has been done in every month, but usually only during warm(ish) spells. Same is said of Sixmile though, so perhaps there are more of those serious/desperate boaters around.

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    Default I didn't even realize it..

    "...because of the brutal conditions. Any way, I'm in."

    Had I read this before I hit post I would have thought "short bus special"

    But yes. Both serious and desperate, been doing pool sessions like crazy and want to get out and play. Finally decided to use my snowmachine and that took some of the urgency out of the equation, but with these long sunny (although cold) days I want to get into the water and play.

    Chris

  9. #9
    Member Ridgerat's Avatar
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    LOL Chris, I like your attitude!

    Thanks for the replies, that's just what I was loking for. We are going to watch the weather through this weekend, and go take a look at it. A co-worker and myself might try it mid-week if its open and 25+ out.

  10. #10
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I wish it was open Rat. Im dying here to put the raft in the water and chase some bows. The ice clog at sportmans is pretty big right now. Nothing a few days of warmth cant was out though. It is not a solid freeze just more of alot of blocks jammed up. As soon as it does open up im there though
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  11. #11
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default Open at sportsmans

    Looking at the cam today. sportmans is open and water is flowing. not sure about below it though and I have a feeling there is an ice jam below it somewhere.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Default Kenai still iced over

    Drove past on Friday afternoon (Feb 20). Still several places with bank to bank ice below Sportsman's -- I believe it will be a while before a channel clears even with some moderate temps.

  13. #13
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default Saturday the 22nd

    Ok water is flowing from the lake to sportsmans. Low though as usual. There is a nice drift around the bridge I worked for about 4 hours yesterday. Sportmans is flowing but BEWARE. The river locks up just downstream at guardrail corner. Also it is locked up tight around Jims landing. The ice shelf at sportsman is about a 4 foot drop off right now so launching is not the smart move right now. Bridge down to sportsmans can be done.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  14. #14

    Default A group of us

    are looking to run the upper section from the lake to the bridge or maybe to the Russian river April 4th. Talking to Chris and looking at his picture reminded me of my own foolish adventures. This will be fun with a few laughs.If your in the area join us.
    Maybe we should make a rule for anyone who participates, all kayakers must do a roll or two, or three in the freezing water, and rafters must jump in etc.
    Chris brought up the brutality, so there.

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    10 degrees this morning, probably ice this morning but better late afternoon. Should be a great sunny Saturday. Not getting dark till 7:30.

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    Default Kenai Lake bridge to Schooner bend bridge

    Is OPEN!! Or at least it was saturday. Couldn't help myself, had to do it. Water was up a bit, lots of ice floating up from the rocks below which tells me it came up recently. There was 3/8 inch or so of unavoidable ice to paddle through about 200 yards below the bridge, but no problems getting through in IK's. Took out at schooner bend because I know our feet would be frozen, which they were. No pics, left both cell phones and cameras at home before launching to cooper landing friday night. Turns out there was a dart tournament and no rooms, so drove to seward, no rooms, ***? Back to cooper landing for a night of sleep in the car, up and freshly hungover in the morning to the sunrise for a greasy breakfast, launch in sunny beautiful weather that continued for the rest of the day. Sixmile creek, FROZEN!!

    Chris

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