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Thread: Wind River trip 2010

  1. #1
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    Default Wind River trip 2010

    Hello

    According to my last thread about paddling the North Fork Koyukuk in this forum, I hope you can help me again...maybe here are more people with experiences with paddling/rafting on the Wind River than in the other forums.

    I intend to paddle the Wind River in the Philip Smith Mountains in August 2010 with a friend. Does anybody knows someone who would fly to "Center Lake" (with floatplane). We will use an inflatable canoe, I am not sure, if there will be enough water in August above Center Lake, landing on a gravel bar far north is not what I expect "recommendable"?


    Greetings from Switzerland,

    Stefan

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I am planning a trip to the Kongakut next June myself, but know very little of the Wind River. You may find some info at the Equinox Expeditions site. These folks run a tight ship and are very reputable. Read over the info on their site...

    http://www.equinoxexpeditions.com/river_wind.php
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  3. #3
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    I would suggest you talk with Andy Greenblatt with Shadow Aviation, 907-457-7194 out of Fairbanks, or Brooks Range Aviation http://www.brooksrange.com/ or Bettles Lodge http://www.bettleslodge.com/ out of Bettles. They all fly floats in that area. Hope this helps....Louis
    Louis Knapp

  4. #4

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    Hi Stefan,
    We do paddling trips on the Wind River in the Arctic Refuge with clients and have always landed far above Center Lake in a wheelplane on a gravelbar that the bush pilots know of.

    You can definitely get into Center Lake with no problem in a floatplane. Your nearest plane will be out of Bettles, so it will be a pricey drop-off. Iif you start your trip there, howevery, you will be missing some of the more spectacular parts of the river valley, with beautiful rock butttresses and great hiking.

    The river is definitely small above Center Lake, and from a put-in on gravel bars in the upper river, you will find the river to be a combinatio of shallow braided water in an open valley, and a narrow, twisty, swift channel with willow hanging out over the turns. You may be lining your boats for part of it. We've done all our trips in August, and always found adequate (but shallow) water.

    A wheelplane is the most economical method of accessing the river, nevertheless, and your pickup options are better as well. There is a good pick-up about 2 miles down the East Fork Chandalar from the mouth of the Wind River, or you can continue down the river to points further south, including a paddle all the way to Venetie. You can use charter companies out of Coldfoot, Fairbanks, or Fort Yukon. If you end your trip in Venetie, Wright Air Service has regularly scheduled flights back to Fairbanks.

    Best,
    Karen Jettmar Equinox Wilderness Expeditions www.equinoxexpeditions.com

  5. #5

    Default Yukon Air

    I'd get with Kirk Sweetsir at Yukon Air Service. He has a website. Just google Yukon Air. He's the man.

  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Nice guy too. I had talked with him last year. Very highly recommended if flying in that area. I heard nothing but good things from previous clients.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  7. #7
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    Hi

    Thank you so much for helping, it is just a great feeling to get such a support. There have been also a lot of useful private messages too.

    Karen, may we will meet on the Wind next year...then I get my individual signed edition of the "Paddling Alaska"...

    Kind regards from sunny Switzerland

    Stefan

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